The black armored catfish Rhinelepsis
aspera Agassiz, 1829 (‘cascudo-preto’)
is an important and currently rare commercial fish
of the São Francisco River, although still
found in large numbers in its main tributary, the
Paracatu River. Its flesh is firm, tasty and practically
devoid of bones and fat. It is caught with gill nets.
Among the Loricariidae of the São Francisco
river basin, R. aspera is the one that reaches
the largest size, and can exceed 4 kg of body weight.
R. aspera can be found throughout the basin of
the São Francisco and Paraná rivers,
with its typical location in the São Francisco
river (Fowler, 1954). The Rhinelepis group
is unique among Loricariids for possessing a round
(normal) iris versus a bilobed iris (although it is
often hard to see the flap in bilobed, preserved fishes).
The species has also thick plates and lacks an adipose
fin. Aquarium Care: Grows rather
large and would need a large tank to accommodate it.
Diet: Omnivore: Feed veg, frozen
foods and also tablet and pellet food. Breeding:
May not be possible as this genera migrate to spawn,
and scatter there eggs with no parental protection.
Black armored catfish
São Francisco and upper Paraná River
basins. Type locality: in flumine
S. Francisci, Brazil.
Yoshimi Sato, Nelsy
Fenerich-Verani, José Roberto Verani, Hugo
Pereira Godinho, Edson Vieira Sampaio;
Induced Reproduction and Reproductive Characteristics
of Rhinelepis aspera Agassiz, 1829 (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes, Loricariidae). Institute of Biological
Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais. Armbruster, J.W., 1998. Phylogenetic
relationships of the suckermouth armored catfishes
of the Rhinelepis group (Loricariidae: Hypostominae).