(Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1980)
e return this month (March 2008) to a member
of the Corydoradinae subfamily, a sort of Corydoras if
you like. It was 4 years ago
in 2004 when the genus Scleromystax was resurrected by
taxonomists for the Southern Brazilian species that sported cheek
bristles in the males, during an ongoing study of Corydoras,
Aspidoras and Brochis.
This is quite a nice
looking species in its own right, may be not as flamboyant as
its cousin S.barbatus, but none the less quite distinctive
in its dress of a metallic blue lateral band on the body. The
males are also not aggressive like S.barbatus males
and can be kept in smaller tanks.
As this is a Southern Brazilian species
it needs cooler waters and a point in question was when I moved
7 of a mixed juvenile/adult batch from my main fishhouse room
from a temperature of 76°F ( 24°C) to a newly built
rack in a cooler area of the fishhouse which had a water temperature
of 70°F to 72°F (21°C - 22°C). The difference
was quite marked and they appeared happier in their cooler surroundings
and started showing an improvement in colouration.
Shape of head, elongated with short snout.
S.prionotos have been in the
U.K. on and of for about 20 years now but it has only been lately
that there are getting regularly spawned, with Catfish Study
Group members Adrian Taylor and Mark Walters being especially
productive. My individuals were from a spawning by Adrian.
This species inhabits white water and clearwater streams in
the coastal lowlands, where it is sympatric with the similar
Body colour, grey-brown. Metallic blue band
runs along the body from just the front of the insertion of the
dorsal fin to the caudal peduncle. Body has many small pale
spots especially on the head and over the top half of body.
Three spots along the ridge of the back on the anterior and posterior
of the dorsal fin and the adipose fin.
As with most of this family, no problem
with other tank mates. Would be better to keep with species that
are comfortable with cooler temperatures in the aquarium.
As per this genus. Has been bred at higher
temperatures so a good idea would be to raise the temperture to
the high 70s F. for a short period. Articles on the breeding of
this family can be found in the breeding articles section here
As with other members of the Corydoradinae
they relish tablet and good quality flake food with frozen bloodworm
a firm favourite. They are also keen on worm foods such as white
worm used sparingly, and grindal worm.
males do not display the extremely elongated pectoral and
dorsal fins, which its congeners do. Also the cheek bristles
or beard is barely visible, even in sexually active males.
A good guide would be the overall shape with the females sporting
a wider girth.
| Anterior : The
Posterior : The tail end of the fish. Situated behind.
Caudal peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin
and the tail.
Corydoras the most popular armoured catfishes of South America.
Fuller A.M. & Georg Evers-Hans;
Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish. p279.
From the Greek prionotos = 'jagged' or 'serrated',
alluding to the medial border of the pectoral fin spine.
Adrian Taylor @