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Heptapterus mustelinus (Valenciennes, 1835)

Image contributors to this species:

Acuario Marcelo (3) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory  Catalog of Fishes


Relevant Information:

There is at present (2010) nine species in this genera and they used to all be in the Pimelodidae genus. Their body is long and slender with a depressed head. The head is covered dorsally with a layer of thick skin. The occipital process is short and does not meet the predorsal plate, and the fontanel is narrow and usually extends to the occipital base, with or without an interruption behind the eyes. The dorsal and pectoral fins lack spines. The skin of these fish is usually naked (scaleless) and they exhibit three pairs of barbels. In its natural habitat there is a report of H. armillatus seeming to prefer sand and a gravel bottom with a relatively fast flow of water or sluggish waters of the same stream where aquatic vegetation was lacking. Aquarium Care: Not usually kept in aquaria but there is a report that H. leptos was kept on a soft substrate with subdued lighting as they are quite secretive. Diet: Most prepared foods but prefers live.

Common Name:



Pimelodus mustelinus, Heptapterus eigenmanni




South America: La Plata and Uruguay River basins and coastal drainages of  southern Brazil. Type locality: Rio de la Plata.


9cm. (3½ins)


18-24°C (63-75°F)




Burgess, W.E. 1989 An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.



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