his Bagrid is the odd one out
in this family as all other members of the Bagridae
behave normally, be it swimming at break neck speed
through the tank when food is dropped in or never
being seen for weeks on end until the lights go out.
The common name of the "Asian Upside Down Catfish"
will maybe give you a further clue about the activities
of this very pretty Asian bagrid.
As seen in the
above image they like to cling to the underside of
objects in the Aquarium and of course in their natural
habitats too. It prefers this position and it will
invert for al least 90% of the time. What it has going
for it, forgetting its aggressive behavior, is the
white flecks/spots which a scattered in a haphazard
way on the body which makes it unique to this family.
A warning here!
These catfish are usually seen in your local fish
shop as 2ins babies and you may misidentify them as
Synodontis species from the African continent
with their Upside Down appearance. Most Synodontis
are great aquarium fish but Mystus leucophasis
can be belligerent of other fish and could cause big
problems in your community tank as it grows. It will
eventually eat your other smaller tankmates.
places in the aquarium such as driftwood and flowerpots
so it can rest underneath them. Better to keep one
specimen as any more than this and they will fight
in the small confines of a fish tank, but if keen
on a group you will only be able to keep one male.
A minimum sized tank of 4ft long would be ideal for
and Sittang River basins, Myanmar. Type locality:
Sitang and other Burma rivers.
Three pairs of barbels, the
longest of which are 1/2 to 3/4 the fishes body length.
The upper lobe of the caudal fin carries an extension
that may be as much as 3cm in length.
The whole of the body and
fins except for the extreme outer edges of the caudal
is an even jet black. The only deviation is along
the flanks where there may be several white to silvery
Care & Compatibility
Will need a large tank if keeping
a few as they are territorial. Not to be trusted with
smaller fish as they will undoubtedly be eaten. If
kept with other fish, large Cichlids or Barbs such
as the "Tinfoil Barb" would be better company.
Provide hiding places large enough where they can
rest upside down. May grow larger than the stated
size of 30cm but this could take a few years to fulfill.
Not recorded but
artificially bred in ponds in the Far East.
Males possess a elongate genital
papilla situated just in front of the anal fin. They
also tend to be slimmer and shorter in length than the
Will eat most aquarium prepared
foods such as flake, tablets, pellets, live and frozen.
meaning whiskered or moustache (hair on the upper
lip). Mystus was first used by Belon in 1553 to describe
all fish with whiskers.
Study Group (UK) Information sheet No 3. Ferraris,
C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent
and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue
of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.