the closing out of the year 2013 and the arrival of
2014 we have the last factsheet of the year and an
insight into a species that over the many years of
keeping various species of Catfish, I have yet to
encounter the "Max Cat". Odd this as I have
kept larger cats over the years including Sorobim
lima, the larger varieties
of Synodontis and the odd Hemibagrus
species and also Chrysichthys
can get to a fair old size. I know some of the Hemibagrus
species from the Bagridae family can get quite aggresive
and Rhamdia quelen from the Heptapteridae
family can also go down this route and be quite feisty.
quelen-adult from the Rio Purus
used to be placed in the close family Pimelodidae.
This is possibly the the most widespread of the numerous
species of Rhamdia. There is even a blind
cave-dwelling version from Trinidad and another described
in 2005 as Rhamdia enfurnada, and is described
from the Gruna do Enfurnado, Serra do amalho, southwestern
Bahia State, middle São Francisco River basin.
Troglobitic (cave dwelling) Rhamdia catfishes
encompass at least eight taxa: R. quelen urichi
(= Caecorhamdia urichi Norman, 1926), R. laticauda
typhla Greenfield, Greenfield & Woods, 1982,
R. reddelli Miller, 1984, R. zongolicensis
Wilkens, 1993, R. macuspanensis Weber
& Wilkens, 1998, R. laluchensis Weber,
Allegrucci & Sbordoni, 2003, R. guasarensis
DoNascimiento, Provenzano & Lundberg, 2004, from
Venezuela, and the species described herein from Brazil.
The form of R. quelen found in the Guacharo
cave in Trinidad has been given the subspecies name
of R. quelen urichi (Norman, 1926) Mees 1974.
There is conflicting views that it should be a species
in its own right as R. urichi, which was
suggested by Silvergrip (1996). Another observation
at the cave mouth said it was possible to observe
all degrees of pigmentation and eye morphology, from
pure quelen at the entrance to pure urichi
at the end of the cave (Price and Endler, 1983)
There are at
present 11 species of Rhamdia with 8 of these
being in the Brazilian territory.
and South America:Mexico to central Argentina. Type
locality: Peru, Depto Loreto, right bank
quebradita tributary to R. Samiria between Caño
Pastos and Hamburgo.
Head moderately depressed,
eyes small. Mouth wide and terminal. Maxillary barbels
long, extending beyond dorsal fin. Pectoral spine
stout, with serrations on posterior edge; adipose
fin long and low.
Ground colour of head and
body grey/brown, lightly marbled all over except
for the underside which is light grey. All the fins
are light brown with the exception of the adipose
fin which is the same colour as the body.
Care & Compatibility
Can be aggresive with one another
which can lead to torn fins (see image above) but
this trait may have something to do with the competition
for food and the lack of hideing places.(Bichuette,
M. E. and Trajano, E ; 2005). In the aquarium you
should treat this species as you would any "Pim"
and house them with tank mates that are the same size
or larger and who occupy a different layer of the
tank be it mid water or top. Provide plenty of hideing
places if you intend to keep more than one individual.
Not suitable to be housed with smaller species but
should fit in with South American Cichlids and larger
Characins in a spacious tank.
Not reported in
the aquarium butbreeder
fish were subjected to induced reproduction through
hypophysation using a crude common carp pituitary
extract. Rhamdia quelen, has been studied
and shownto be able to survive cold winters and grow
fast in the warm summer (Barcellos, Kreutz, Quevedo,
Fioreze, Cecirato, Soso, Fagundes, Conrad, Baldissera,
Bruschi & Ritter 2004). Siluriformes, including
R. quelen, are useful for aquaculture because
of their texture, quality of flesh and high carcass
yield (Ferreira, Nuner, Luz, Reynalte-Tataje, Esquivel
& Restrepo 2001). The male's reproductive apparatus
includes multi-lobed testicles and accessory organs
for secretion and storage. Fertilization is external.
Non-sticking demersal eggs (1.1 to 2.8 mm diameter)
are laid down, hatching after about 48 hours at 22°C.
Ten days later, the larvae weigh approximately 100
mg but growth is slow (0.5 to 1.15 g per day).
Not fussy so should be fed
the usual aquarium foods such as flake, tablets, pellets,
frozen and live food. Provide a varied diet.
Brazilian vernacular name, Nhamdia/Jamdia.
after Abbe Quelen, who accompanied Quoy and Gaimard
on their travels.
Adipose fin:Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind
the rayed dorsal fin. Maxillary barbels:Pertaining
to the upper jaw (maxillary barbels).
paired fins just behind the head.
M. E. and E. Trajano ; 2005. A new cave species
of Rhamdia (Siluriformes: Heptapteridae) from Serra
do Ramalho, northeastern Brazil, with notes on ecology
and behavior. Neotropical Ichthyology, 3(4):587-595,
2005. Bockmann, F.A.
and G.M. Guazzelli, 2003. Heptapteridae (Heptapterids).
p. 406-431. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J.
Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes
of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS,
Brasil. Catfish Association Great Britain;
D.L./M.S. /7/79. Page
14. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (05/2009). Marcelo BrunoVilaca
Campos Gomes,Yuri Simoes Martins, Yoshimi Sato, Elizete
Rizzo & Nilo Bazzoli. 2009. Early development
of the silver catfish Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard,
1824) (Pisces:Heptapteridae) fromthe Sa˜o Francisco
River Basin, Brazil. Proudlove G.S.;
2006. Subterranean Fishes of the World. An Account
of the subterranean (hypogean) fishes described up
to 2003 with a bibliography 1541-2004. International
Society for Subterranean Biology Moulis. 300p.