e are back to the South
American sub-continent for this months factsheet (April
2004) with a first from us on a member of the Pseudopimelodidae
family.The sub-family of Pimelodidae, Pseudopimelodinae,
is now considered a full family status of Pseudopimelodidae
and is of course closely related to the Pimelodidae
family and mostly contains the smaller pims, such
as the South American Bumblebee and dwarf marbled
Its common name
of the Bumblebee Catfish can be misleading as there
is another catfish, from Asia, Pseudomystus
that also carries this name and this is probably the
fish that we know mostly as "The Bumblebee Catfish".
P. siamensis has a different body pattern,
shape, and possess's an extra pair of barbels. That
is why we mostly refer to them as the South American
and Asian Bumblebee Cats. There are at the present
moment (2010) 17 species in the Microglanis
There can be
confusion between another three species of the same
poecilus, M. secundus
and M. parahybae. There are diferences in
colour patterns, especially on the caudal peduncle
and caudal fin areas.
The line drawings
may help you to identify your Microglanis
but being able to see your species in your tank to
do this is another matter entirely as they are very
secretive as you can go months without spotting them,
unless you can view them with the lights out at night
when they come out for their forays.
To sum up, a very
nice looking pim, while being very nocturnal, but
being able to see them on the odd occasion makes up
for the weeks that you thought you had lost it, and
so a nice addition to a medium sized community tank.
American Bumblebee catfish
South America:Rio Turmero near Turmero
in Aragua, Venezuela.
Dorsal fin rounded, Caudal
fin truncate. Adipose fin well developed. Maxillary
barbels reaching past the origins of the pectoral
spines. lateral line well developed (tubular with
pores) Head flattened.
Dark brown markings on a
light brown background. The area of dark brown colour
on the caudal peduncle is more or less square. Dorsal
fin mainly dark brown with a pale tip, Slightly
mottled with brown and with a large triangular pale
patch based on the last two rays. The caudal fin
has a broad dark brown cross band.
Care & Compatibility
is one of twenty six, small to medium sized pims,
found in this family, and as such is a good addition
to the medium sized community tank, and will not harm
the occupants unless they are small enough to fit
into its mouth such as newly born fry and young fish.
If you keep livebearers such as Guppies and Platies
in with them you will very rarely be overrun with
fry as the Bumblebee Catfish will promptly finish
them off on its night time prowls. Hiding places such
as rockwork, plants and or wood will benefit this
species and help, along with regular water changes,
to keep this "Bumblebee Catfish" happy in
Two reports from
English aquarists. First Des Penny published in the
magazine of the Catfish Association of Great Britain
stating that the water parameters ranged from 4.8-6pH
and temperature values between 22°c and 25.5°c.
He fed a regime of shredded cod, coley, prawns, mussels,
cockles and oxheart, plus feedings of live Daphnia,
bloodworm and river shrimp. He found fry by accident
one day when he was feeding his fish, a total count
of 40 at about 12mm in size which were perfect replicas
of the parents. There is no report of how they spawned
but Des puts it down to either three things that went
on in the tank previously, a drop in temperature then
it quickly warming up, his Characins spawning at the
same time or it could have been the very varied diet
that he was undertaking. Next article from Paul Barrow
appeared in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist in 1997 and
he witnessed the spawning with them dashing around
the tank with the male wrapping itself around the
females head (It must be noted here that the females
get quite rotund and helps to differentiate males
from females). Paul actually put them back into the
new tank after fitting a new under gravel system prier
to them spawning, so with 50% new water this would
go a long way to facilitating their actions. His water
parameters were: Temp: 72°f rising to 75°f
over a 12 week period with the p.H. never dropping
below 6.5. He took the eggs out of the tank to a smaller
tank but they all fungused and unfortunately he did
not get any offspring.
Can be fed a varied diet of
tablet food, pellets, worm foods and frozen food such
as bloodworm and as seen above in the breeding report.
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels).
Micro = small; glanis = catfish. iheringi:In honour
of Rudolpho von Ihering.
Paul; Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Sep.1997, p82-91.
Catfish Association of Great Britain, Magazine
69-1/91, p63-64. Sands, David; Catfishes of the World
Vol.3 Auchenipteridae & Pimelodidae.