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).
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 intermedia is quite a pretty catfish as most of this
genus are. 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
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.
Update Oct.2006: Swedish aquarist Daniel Blom
has recently bred this species and you can see his progress below
in these clickable images.
Eggs-laid under a piece of wood
Eggs-on the third day
10mm fry a couple of days after hatching
D 1/4-5; A 8-10; P
1/4; V 6. Body stocky, varying little in depth from front to back,
the hinder part compressed. Dorsal fin inserted far forwards, short,
with a stout spine. Adipose fin small. Caudal fin forked. Anal fin-base
short. 1 pair of maxillary barbels, reaching to the pectoral fins
when laid back; two pairs of short, very fine, mandibular barbels.
Body dark brown to black with pale blotches.
Middle of the underside delicate pale brown to white. The dorsal,
adipose and caudal fins display the same colouration and markings
as the body. The remaining fins are translucent, pale or light brownish.
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. (See images above) Also a report on Tatia
creutzbergi, 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 (now Catfish
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,
Freshwater and Marine Catfishes
In honour of Mr. C. Tate Regan.
Riehl, Baensch. Aquarium Atlas 3.1997.
Catfish Association Great Britain. Volume1
Sterba, Gunther; Freshwater Fishes of the World 1
Top two images: Allan
Breeding images : Daniel Blom
Amazon River basin and rivers of the Guianas
|21-24c (69-75f )
| 6.5 - 7.5.
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