his banjo catfish spends most
of its time inhabiting the coastal waters of northern
South America from Venezuela to northern Brazil. It
is primarily a freshwater catfish but can be kept
in a brackish water system due to its tolerance to
This is a peaceful
species that can grow quite large and as such could
prey on small fry as food.
The common name
of the "Mottled Eel-Tailed Banjo Catfish"
says it all as the body, from the dorsal fin to the
caudal peduncle, is very elongated with a mottled/spotted
appearance. As a few members of this family can be
termed as a bit on the ugly side, Platystacuscotylephorus is certainly not in this category
as it has a very attractive appearance.
- dorsal view
As this species
occurs mainly in brackish water a little salt added
to the aquarium would be beneficial. Does
not like the water to be on the acid side of the p.H.
scale for too long so would be better kept over a
p.H. of 7, which would also be beneficial to livebearers
being kept with this catfish.
Coastal waters and lower portions of rivers of northern
South America, from Venezuela to northern Brazil.
Head broad and depressed, as
is the body from the gill opening to the pelvic fin
base. The remainder of the body being somewhat longer
and whip like. Eyes small. Barbels: one pair of maxillary
with two pair of mental barbels present along the
ventral surface of the head. Dorsal fin: 4 rays with
a soft spine. Pectoral fins are broad with 7 rays
and a strong spine that has serrae on both anterior
and posterior edges. Ventral fins are broad with 6
rays. Anal fin is long with 52-56 rays. Caudal fin
with 8-10 rays. There are parallel rows of fine granulations
running along the body.
Variable ranging from near
completely black or brown to a mottled colouration
of different hues of black, brown, tans and whites.
Care & Compatibility
do well in a quite community tank where the tank mates
are non-aggressive, livebearers wouls be a good addition.
Spends most of the day buried in the sand substrate.
The sand should be deep enough so that they can bury
themselves completely covered, and also a planted
dark area to make them feel more secure in their surroundings.
The eggs stick
to the females abdomen after spawning. Short stalks
appear with the eggs attached and only disappear when
the eggs hatch.
The males are
more colourful and usually darker than the females
and they also possess a longer dorsal and pectoral
Live and frozen foods such
as mosquito larvae, tubifex, earthworms, whiteworms
and small crustacea. Tablet foods and sunken flake
that lies on the bottom is also taken.
Pectoral fin:The paired fins after head and before anal fin. Ventral fin:The
paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins. Coracoid: Middle and lower section
of the pectoral girdle. Caudal peduncle: The area between
the dorsal fin and the tail. Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin. Pelvic fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins. (also referred to
as ventrals). Anal fin:The fin
forward from the anal cavity. Serrae: Saw-like
notches along an edge. Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to
the upper jaw (maxillary barbels). Mental barbels: Pertaining to the
chin, on the lower jaw (mental barbels).
Platys = broad;
acus =needle. cotylephorus: meaning sites
for the attachment of developing embryos, refering
to the eggs hanging from the ventral area.
H.A. and R. Riehl 1985
Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur-
und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Catfish Study Group; Information