upturned snout of this 'pim' (hence the common name
of Sturgeon catfish) makes it possible for it to find
the finest food organisms in the substrate. It is
reported that some imported specimens are half starved
and need tender loving care to recover.
Some of these specimens end up with a deformed snout
which has either been damaged in transit or in captivity.
If this species
is not given enough space it will invariably damage
its snout against the aquarium glass sides so they
must be given as large a tank as possible.
Below is an image of a specimen
with a deformed snout. Water conditions must of course
be of the highest quality when dealing with this species
as they will not tolerate ammonia or nitrites so very
good filtration is in order if thinking about purchasing
the Sturgeon catfish.
with damaged snout due to either in transit or in
sturio is monotypic (the only species in this
genera) and is closely related to the Duckbill Catfish,
lima and as such has
similar looking lateral plates beginning just behind
the head and extending back to around the position
of the ventral fins. These plates are covered with
skin similar to S. lima.
is classified under the "Calophysus-Pimelodus
clade". Within this clade, it is considered a
part of the "Pimelodus-group" of Pimelodids,
which also includes Pimelodus, Exallodontus,
Duopalatinus, Cheirocerus, Iheringichthys,
Platysilurus, and Propimelodus.
Type locality:Rio branco, Brazil.
30cm. SL. (12ins) 40cm TL (
Body slender and long, covered
with thin skin. Head long, depressed anterioly, the
upper jaw projecting well beyond the lower jaw, the
exposed underside of which is covered with fine rasp-like
teeth. Three pairs of barbels, two pairs of moderately
short mandibular barbels and one pair of extremely
long maxillary barbels which well exceed the length
of the body. Caudal fin deeply forked, with the outer
rays of the upper and lower lobes extended into long
Sides silvery grey, shading
darker dorsally and to creamy white on the ventral
surface. A series of large round black spots along
the side, varying in number between individuals,
though usually one spot below the middle of the
dorsal fin and another at the base of the upper
lobe of the caudal fin are present.
Care & Compatibility
Provide a soft substrate such
as sand or smooth gravel as they will dig and root
and will need a powerful external filter. The tank
must be twice the length, in width, of the barbels
on this species, so it can turn around with no obstruction.
A 4ft tank should be the minimum length. Provide a
swift current in the tank for this species.
Can be kept together or singly
but will be predatory to smaller fishes especially
as they grow larger. If housing with other fish the
large cichlids of South America or large cyprinids
such as tinfoil barbs will do well.
Tubifex, small earthworms,
tablet and pellet foods.
The tail. Dorsal
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Mandibular barbels:
Pertaining to the lower jaw (mandibular barbels).
Pertaining to the upper jaw (maxillary barbels). Ventral
paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins.
H.A. and R. Riehl
1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für
Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216
p. Conservación Internacional;
seris de Guías Tropicales De Campo. Pecos del
medio Amazonas Región de Leticia. 546 p. Lundberg, John G.; Parisi, Béatrice
M. (2002). "Propimelodus, new genus,
and redescription of Pimelodus eigenmanni Van der
Stigchel 1946, a long-recognized yet poorly-known
South American catfish (Pimelodidae: Siluriformes)"
(PDF). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences
of Philadelphia 152 (1).