stenomus (Cuvier & Valenciennes,
he 'False Bumblebee Catfish' was one of
the first cats that I owned and it led to my interest with everything
catty!, if it didn't have barbels I didn't want to know. When
I owned this fish it used to be called Leiocassis stenomus
and it wasn't until 1991 that the genus name was changed along
with L. siamensis by Mo following Jayaram's suggestion
in 1968. He divided Leiocassis into two genera, Leiocassis
with 8 species and Pseudomystus with 13 species. It
is seperated from the Mystus genus by the skin covering
the eyes. You can still buy this catfish in your aquarium store
under the old genus name of Leiocassis.
It is a very shy fish so you will have
to have a hiding place for it, be it a pipe, rockwork or bogwood.
I knew where it hid so I would make sure that tablets would
sink down into her hiding place.This method was very successful
as I won countless Best in Shows with this fish on the show circuit.
I did not have any problems with aggressiveness
against the other occupants in the tank but they where either
larger or similar size to it, but I would watch if housing an
adult with smaller Characins or Livebearers as they could be picked
of at night when it starts cruising the tank.
Dorsal 1/6-7; Anal 12-16; 4 pairs barbels.
Snout rounded or obtuse not produced beyond subterminal mouth;snout
length equal to or lesser than interorbital space width.
This bagrid has very soft skin so if you decide to keep them in
the same tanks as the Synodontis species of the African
continent you may get scratches appearing alongside its flanks
where the Syno has scraped it with its long pectoral spines, no
harm will come to them but it may be a risk for future infection
and you may not be able to see the 'False Bumblebee Catfish' for
a few weeks due to its nocturnal habits, and by then any infection
could have set in. In saying that I had it housed in my 6' 0"
tank in my lounge with among others, Synodontis eupterus,
with no problems, but it is a point to beware off.
Ground color dark brown/black, lighter on
underside. Silver grey spots and blotches scattered over head and
body. Dorsal: Fin spines with dark pigment and barred. Pectoral:
Fins dark at base. Anal: Fin barred. Caudal: Fin clear, deeply forked,
the upper lobe is longer then the lower. Ventral: Fin barred. Adipose:
Fin light at the back, dark in the middle with a small light saddle
at the front.
Can be kept in a community tank but would
watch if housing an adult with smaller Characins or Livebearers
as they could be picked of at night when it starts cruising the
I did mention her in the above
caption as the females are noticeably fuller in the body than the
males plus the former has a fleshy appendage in front of the anal
fin when they are ready to spawn. The male has a thin gentital papilla
near the anal fin. I have not heard of any spawning accounts for
this species but I'm sure with lots of males and females together
in a species tank with java moss (as they are reported to be orgy
spawners) and with plenty of cool water changes it would be a challenge,
as I'm quite sure they would be spawnable, with a little work and
Any good food that would reach into their
hiding places during the day or feed at night with the lights out,
tablet food, worms and frozen bloodworm.
1989 An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine catfishes: a preliminary
survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New
stenomus: Narrow shoulders
Jayaram, K.C. Contributations to the study of bagrid catfishes
(Siluroidea: Bagridae) 1968
Linder, Shane. The Catfishes Of Asia: Family Bagridae part
two. Published in Cat Chat, The official Journal of the Catfish