(Eigenmann & Allen, 1942)
his species from the Auchenipteridae family
was known for many years as Tatia creutzbergi. It was
originally described by Eigenmann & Allen in 1942 as
Centromochlus gyrinus based on a single specimen from
Iquitos, Peru. Nearly a decade latter, Boeseman (1953) described
Centromochlus creutzbergi based on a specimen from Suriname,
but without a comparison to Centromochlus gyrinus. Mees
in 1974 transferred both species to the genus Tatia,
based on similarities in fin ray counts and the shape of the adipose
fin. For many years the Amazonian T. gyrina was known
only from its holotype. The holotype of T. gyrina is
old and has lost its colour. The specimen, however, is a mature
male, with a modified anal fin that is similar in appearance to
the anal fin of specimens from Suriname identified as T. creutzbergi.
Recent sampling of Amazon igarapés
has made available more specimens, including adults, which has
allowed for a more detailed morphological comparison of Amazon
and Suriname populations. The new material indicates that T.
creutzbergi from Suriname and T. gyrina from the
Amazon are morphologically very similar and hereby considered
conspecific under the older name of Tatia gyrina. (Soares
This is a very nicely marked small species
which is not that common in the hobby. In the Amazon populations,
however, the dark stripe is interrupted in some specimens, whereas
in all Suriname specimens examined the dark stripe is always present
and conspicuous. In some Suriname specimens the pelvic-fin base
has a characteristic darkened area, with paired brown spots. These
markings are especially obvious in specimens recently captured.
close up of the dark brown lateral stripe)
Available field data indicate these catfish
typically occur in water with low pH, low conductivity and low
level of dissolved oxygen (J. Zuanon & H. Nijssen).
In some quarters Tatia creutzbergi ( from Suriname) is
not viewed as a junior synonym of T. gyrina and is held
up as a species in its own right.
8-11 anal fin rays; pectoral fin rays 1,4;
dorsal and pectoral fin spines with well developed teeth and hooks;
upper surface of head and nuchal region covered with bony plates;
caudal fin shallowly forked.
Body colouration diagnostic with upper surface
of heads and back dull brown and sides longitudinally marbled brown
and white, a conspicuous broad blackish longitudinal band on the
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, they come well
recommended but don't expect to see them too often.
Good filtration with
a moving surface are recommended to keep the oxygen levels
high. Peaceful species that will hide away during the day.
Best kept in small groups.
Internal fertilisation. The female usually
place its adhesive eggs on the underside of wood with no broodcare
after the event.
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.
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.
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.
Sarmento-Soares, Luisa Maria;
Martins-Pinheiro, Ronaldo Fernando
A systematic revision of Tatia (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae:
Centromochlinae) Neotropical Ichthyology, 6(3):495- 542, 2008.
Dorsal fin: The
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
The median, unpaired, ventrally located
fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish.
Nuchal: Area between the skull and dorsal
Pectoral fins: The paired fins just behind
honour of Mr. C. Tate Regan.
Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl,
1991. Aquarien atlas. Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur-und
Heimtierkunde, Germany. 1104 p.
Mol, H.A. Jan, The Freshwater Fishes of Suriname.
BRILL, Leiden Boston, 2012. 889 p.
© Ian Fuller @