he genus Tatia contains around about 14 species (2010)
distributed throughout South America east of the Andes from Venezuela
and Colombia to Southern Brazil. They don't grow big and the largest
size recorded is 12cm. ( 5ins).
Tatia tend to be kept by catfish fanatics
(for the want of a better word!) as you will not see them from
one week to another as they are nocturnal (active at night) and
you have to feed at lights out or as I do, put food into the pipe
or crevice that you will find them jammed into.
The barbels are moderate in length reaching to the end of the dorsal
fin and they tend to bend them upwards when looking for food. They
can also tuck their barbels alongside their cheeks making them nearly
invisible. I tend to think that there is a groove in this area where
they can lay their barbels in. They possess two pairs of barbels,
one pair of mandibular and one pair of maxillary.
Tatia aulopygia is quite a plain catfish. The eyes are
large with a skin over them and a few non catfish aquarists tend
to think that they have cloudy eye's and it is a disease, but
this is normal for the Auchenipteridae family.
They have quite a chunky body with a broad based caudal peduncle
(between the dorsal and caudal) which is unusual in itself as in
most fish it slopes down to the caudal fin. Tatia possess
a very small adipose fin and a moderately sized ventral and anal.
The anal fin is the key to the sexual dimorphism of this genus,
if you think of the male and female of most livebearer fish (Goodeidae
family) and you will not be too far away with this assumption.
As you can see above the female has a normal anal fin but the
males are modified into a copulatory organ with the first and
second ray thickened and longer, it is thought that the male uses
this to clasp the female during the spawning embrace.
Dorsal fin I,5 (n=7); dorsal-fin spine with
14-16 antrorse serrations along entire anterior margin; posterior
margin smooth. Pectoral fin I,5 (n=7); pectoral-fin spine with 21-24
antrorse serrations along anterior margin; small serrations close
to spine base; 14-16 retrorse serrations along posterior margin;
serrations along both margins progressively larger toward spine
tip. Pelvic fin i,5 (n=7); margin rounded. Adipose fin small, origin
on vertical through end of anal-fin base. Anal fin iii,7-8 (n=7);
anal-fin pterygiophores in eight rod-like proximal radials and seven
cartilaginous distal radials. Caudal fin forked, lobes with rounded
tips, 8+9 principal rays, 18- 20 upper procurrent, 17-20 lower procurrent
rays (n=7). Pleural ribs 10-11 attached to consecutive vertebrae.
PostWeberian vertebrae 38-39 (n=4).
Body coloration is somewhat variable, usually with large bands or
blotches irregularly distributed over sides of body. In some specimens
colouration is uniformly dark or pale brown, with caudal fin mottled.
Some young specimens have small spots over ventrolateral parts of
body and a barred caudal fin.
Give them small pipes, and they do seem to like to hide in the crevices
of bogwood as well. They appear to be happier if they can jam themselves
in with the use of their pectoral fins. Community tanks are fine
for this species although you may find that they will predate on
fry from other species, but apart from that they come well recommended
but don't expect to see them too often.
Internal fertilisation with the eggs deposited 24-48 hours later.
Also a report on Tatia creutzbergi, (T. gyrina)
with them placing their adhesive eggs on the underside of wood with
no broodcare after the event. A few members of the Auchenipteridae
family have been spawned in the hobby with a successful breeding
and raising of the young of Trachelyichthys decaradiatus
by Dick Thompson, a former member of The Northern Area Catfish Group
Study Group U.K.)
In its native habitat they feed on small invertebrates and crustaceans
and in the aquarium they will eat anything given such as frozen
bloodworm inserted in to their hideaway, catfish tablets, white
worm (sparingly) and prawns and shrimp. They do like their food
and you can see them shooting out of their hideouts and swimming
in a frenzied manner to try and take all for themselves, especially
when you feed them their favourite food, frozen bloodworm.
Burgess, Warren.E.Dr. Freshwater and Marine Catfishes
In honour of Mr. C. Tate Regan.
Riehl, Baensch. Aquarium Atlas 3.1997.
Great Britain. Volume1
Sterba, Gunther; Freshwater Fishes of the World 1
Sarmento-Soares, Luisa Maria; Martins-Pinheiro, Ronaldo
Fernando A systematic revision of Tatia (Siluriformes:
Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae) Neotropical Ichthyology, 6(3):495-
occurs in the Madeira river drainage of the Amazon basin. Most
records are from upper reaches, in the Guaporé and Mamoré
|21-24c (69-75f )
| 6.5 - 7.5.
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