here are now as of January 2019, 24 species of Microglanis
from the Pseudopimelodidae family, the last two named in 2016,
Microglanis nigrolineatus and Microglanis xerente.
We concentrate this month on a species well known in the hobby
but only now becoming more readily available, the Dwarf marbled
catfish, Microglanis poecilis.
The most common Microglanis
species that you will encounter will be M.
iheringi which is exported more often than our factsheet
of the month due to the accessibility of each species. In the
last few years more aquarists are collecting in the rivers of
French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana and so this catfish is becoming
more readily available to the hobbyist although it is still
a rare species to be seen in your local fish shop.
There can be confusion between another three species of the
same genera, Microglanis
iheringi, M. secundus
and M. parahybae. There are diferences in colour patterns,
especially on the caudal peduncle and caudal fin areas.
poecilus - caudal
The line drawings below 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.
M. poecilus |
M. parahybae |
plate with rounded lateral margin. The
caudal fin is somewhat variable, usually scalloped with rounded
(or at least not very sharp) lobes, the upper one the larger.
Lateral line not complete. Maxillary teeth
without backward projection. Pectoral fin with i,5 rays; tip of
pectoral spine pointed.
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. It would be better to purchase
a few of this species instead of a single individual as they
will be happier with conspecifics.
Remarks: in some publications the Standard
Length is documented as 3.5cm.
Dark brown markings on a light brown background.
The pale band across the nape is irregular, running zigzag and in
a few specimens it is actually interrupted, the dark area on the
head and predorsal region being in contact across it. The dark area
below the dorsal fin is a peculiar four cornered shape when the
fish is viewed from above. A dark area on the adipose fin and just
below, with a light patch at the origin of the adipose fin. The
dark band across the caudal peduncle is always more or less triangular
in shape. The dark markings on the body are enhanced by the fact
that just around them the background is paler than elsewhere on
the body, almost white instead of light brown. Dorsal fin with a
dark bar about one third halfway up, caudal fin with a dark vertical
bar about one third from end, all the fins are minutely spotted.
Hiding places such
as rockwork, plants and or wood will benefit this species
and help, along with regular water changes, to keep it happy
in its surroundings.
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 Dwarf marbled
catfish will promptly finish them off on its night time prowls.
Not recorded but there is a report on the
breeding of Microglanis
iheringi on the factsheet of April 2004.
|Males are slimmer than
Can be fed a varied diet of tablet food,
pellets, worm foods and frozen food such as bloodworm.
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of
Lateral line: A
sensory line, along the sides of the body.
Maxillary teeth: Pertaining to the upper
Pectoral fins: The paired fins just behind
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached.
Greek, kranion = skull + Greek, glanis = the name of a kind
poecilus: From the Greek, poikilos
= variecoloured, pied, mottled, spotted.
- Own work using Digital Chart of the World and GTOPO data.,
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4766156
Catfish Association of Great Britain: Information
Book 4. 1978. 23p.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of
catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Mol, H.A. Jan, The Freshwater Fishes of
Suriname. BRILL, Leiden Boston, 2012. 889 p.
Sleen, van der Peter and Albert, S. James;
Field guide of the Amazon, Orinoco & Guianas. Princeton
University Press, Princeton and Oxford. 2018.