'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
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
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.
Asian Bumblebee Catfish
stenomus, Leiocassis stenomus
East Thailand, Kampuchea, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra,
Java, Borneo. Type locality:Java.Thailand,Southern.
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.
Ground colour 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.
Care and Compatibility
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 tank.
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 dedication.
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
W.E., 1989 An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine
catfishes: a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes.
T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 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