actsheet no 239, May 2016 has us revisiting the Bagridae famaily
of Asia and a much misidentified species in Mystus
The misidentified remark is based on other
midstriped Mystus species such as M. vittatus,
M. tengara, M. carcio and M. atrifasciatus.
M. atrifasciatus differs due to it having less dark lines
on the body and having a thinner, non indented fontanel and having
a longer adipose fin. M. vittatus differs due to M.
mysticetus’s large laterally placed eyes (this trait
also includes M. atrifasciatus). Another similar species
is M. multiradiatus which has a longer adipose fin and
also the smaller eye. See images below.
is often found in mixed schools with M.
multiradiatus (above) which congregate around tree limbs
and other solid objects, browsing the hard surfaces for zooplankton,
aquatic insects, crustaceans and rotifers. They move into flooded
forests during the rainy season and return to the rivers in November
and December in the lower Mekong. Oviparous, distinct pairing
possibly like other members of the same family.
Anal soft rays: 13 - 15; Vertebrae: 34 -
37. Differs from all other species of Mystus in having
eyes lateral, rather than dorsolateral, so that they are about equally
visible viewed either from above or from below head (in other species
eyes usually cannot be seen at all from directly below). Mouth nearly
terminal, less down turned than in any other species of striped
Mystus. Serrae of pectoral spine smaller and less erect
than in any other striped Mystus. Adipose fin short but
very high, originating far behind dorsal fin, its length about twice
and its height slightly less than eye diameter. Gill rakers increase
in number throughout life faster than in any other Mystus.
The anal fin has slightly more rays (13-15) than other striped Mystus
of Thailand (usually 12 or less), and its posterior border is distinctly
falcate. Cranial fontanel extends posteriorly to about midway between
level of posterior border of eye and base of supraoccipital process.
Maxillary barbel extends posteriorly to beyond anal fin or to end
of middle caudal fin rays.
Side of body with 3 faint dark and 2 whitish
stripes. Tips of anal and caudal fin are often black.
Apart from the confusion
on this Bagrid...how do we keep it in the aquarium?. Not
a problem as long as you keep four or more as they will
do better in a group. This is a medium to small Bagrid but
never the less it is better to keep species with them that
are around about the same size, as after all they are from
the Bagridae family and most (but not all) can be predatory.
Furnish the aquarium with driftwood for hiding places and
plants. Substrate is a personal choice.
Will do well in your medium to large aquarium
with larger Tetra type fish and Barbs.
Not reported but
oviparous, distinct pairing possibly like other members of the same
family. This genus is known to be
egg scatterers and may eat the eggs
if they are not separated. Cold water changes may start a pair off
if they are kept in a species tank on their own. There
have been a couple of instances of successfull breeding attempts
with Mystus species, notably M. armatus
and M. vittatus.
Males have an elongate
genital papilla in front of the anal fin. Females will be
Flake food which will give them all the
vitamins they desire. They should of course be fed a varied diet
consisting of the former, tablet, pellet foods and frozen foods
such as bloodworm.
space(s) between the bones on top of the skull covered by
Fleshy finlike projection without
rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Caudal fin: The tail.
Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish.
Pectoral fin: The paired fins just behind
Gill rakers: Structure on the upper portion
of the gill arches.
Falcate: When the anterior fin rays are
Supraoccipital: Unpaired bone at the back
of the skull, usually with a crest.
Maxillary: Pertaining to the upper jaw.
meaning whiskered (hair on the upper lip) Mystus was
first used by Belon in 1553 to describe all fish with whiskers.
1992. Revision of the striped catfishes of Thailand misidentified
as Mystus vittatus, with descriptions of two new species (Pisces:
Bagridae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 3(1):77-88.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2004. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (10/2004).
Rainboth, W.J. 1996 Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong.
FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO,
Rome, 265 p.
ScotCat Article: Grant, Steven;
striped catfishes of the genus Mystus Scopoli, 1777 (Siluriformes:
Serov, D.V., Nezdoliy V.K., Pavlov,
D.S.; The Freshwater Fishes of Central Vietnam. Scientific
Press Ltd. 363 p.
© Allan James