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Pseudeutropius moolenburghae Weber & de Beaufort, 1913

his month we welcome back Asian catfish expert Adrian Taylor to pen a piece for us on one of the so called "Glass catfishes", Pseudeutropius moolenburghae



Pseudeutropius moolenburghae


Pseudeutropius moolenburghae


Pseudeutropius moolenburghae is one of the smaller 'Schilbeidae' that can now be found quite often in our local fish stores. Like Kryptopterus vitreolus from the Siluridae family it is an unassuming and inconspicuous catfish that can often go unnoticed. When these are at their best the body takes on an iridescent blue, nearly turquoise shine, (see image above) that at times when the fish are swimming and swiftly turning around in search of food can be quite scintillating to the viewer.


Pseudeutropius moolenburghae  = shoal


Pseudeutropius moolenburghae - shoal


P. moolenburghae is an active mid water swimmer and as such an aquarium with plenty of open spaces and planted areas at its margins into which they can retire in amongst during the night time hours, would go someway in making these small catfish feel secure. Tank mates should be chosen that are not too boisterous and are of similar or smaller in size. Fish such as Rasbora volcanus, Rasbora espei and Brachydanio kerri and bottom feeding catfishes such as Hara minuscula and Akysis maculipinnis would make ideal tank companions. Feeding; especially live food can be can be a little captivating due to the fact that when they are searching for food P. moolenburghi spreads wide its four pairs of barbels in such a way that it resembles an erect umbrella that has lost all of its cloth, and any food that the barbels comes into contact with is then very swiftly singled out and consumed.



Type Locality: Sumatra, Batang Hari river, Indonesia.


Type Locality: Sumatra, Batang Hari river, Indonesia.


Although the range of the genus Pseudeutropius is quite large, with the few species so far documented being found in India, down across Myanmar and Thailand and into the Greater Sunda Islands of Indonesia, it has been a genus that has not as yet been thoroughly documented or researched. For a while it was reported that a population of P. moolenburghae existed in the peat swamps of Peninsular Thailand; however, in 2011 HH Ng & Vidathayanon examined this 'population' and although there were quite a lot of similarities between the two populations, they diagnosed that amongst other subtle differences the anal fin in the Thailand population contained fewer rays 37 to 41 rays compared to 42 to 49 rays in the Sumatra and Indonesian population's.

Due to these differences, it has been accepted that the Thailand population is a species in its own right, and is now described as Pseudeutropius indigens (HH Ng & Vidthayanon, 2011).

This species has now been assigned to the Horabagridae family



Long anal fin; 42 to 49 rays. Head depresed, Large eyes. Small adipose fin.


When these are at their best the body takes on an iridescent blue, nearly turquoise shine but can have the normal body colour of a pale brown with a dark brown thick lateral stripe. There is another stripe at the insertion of the anal fin which runs the full length of the fin. The body is virtually transparent


Quite a shy fish so would need a planted tank to make them feel safe in their surroundings. Have at least 6 to form a group.

Oviparous, eggs are unguarded

Sexual differences

There are no proven external sexual differences.



Feeds on insect larvae and small invertebrates in their natural habitats. In the aquarium feeding is un-problamatic as this is a catfish that readily accepts commercial foods such as crushed flake and small pellets along with frozen foods such as bloodworms, daphnia and brineshrimp. Live foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae should be fed at least once a week if one wants to keep them in tip-top condition.


Pseudeutropius: Greek, pseudes = false + Greek, eu = well + keel, in reference to the compressed body of the fish


Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (11/2009).
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628

Taylor; A. Asian Catfish.com. Factsheet. http://www.asiancatfish.com/page38/page60/page60.html
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Glossary of Terms

Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior half of the fish.
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.

Barbels: Whisker-like structure on the heads of most catfish.

Photo Credits

All images: © Johnny Jensen @  Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library

Factsheet 207

Common Name:
Burmese Silver Glass Cat
Asia: Batang Hari River, Kapuas River, Sumatra. Type locality: Sumatra, Batang Hari river, Indonesia.
8.5cm. SL (3¼ins)
22 -28°C (71-83°F)
6.2 - 7.2.
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