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Megalonema platycephalum Eigenmann, 1912

Image contributors to this species:

Enrico Richter (1) Julio Endler (3) Karsten Schönherr (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

The pimelodid catfish genus Megalonema has an ample distribution in South America throughout the Paraná, Amazon, Essequibo, Orinoco, Maracaibo and Magdalena basins. The species of Megalonema inhabit medium to large rivers mostly in flowing marginal reaches and over fine substrates of mud or sand. These are streamlined catfishes of modest size with adult lengths ranging among species from ca. 10-30 cm SL. Their clear to hyaline fins are gracefully shaped and often filamentous, with flexible fin spines in the dorsal and pectoral fins, and an expansive adipose fin. In color Megalonema are mostly plain yellowish to tan and generally without prominent marks except for the common presence of an embedded dark spot in the base of the upper caudal-fin lobe, and sometimes also the lower lobe. When this species was caught on hook and line it was found to have beetle larvae, fish scales and catfish spines in its stomach contents. Diet: will accept sinking pellets and most types of worms in captivity.

Common Name:







South America: Amazon, Essequibo, and Orinoco River basins. Type locality: Tumatumari, British Guiana.


30cm. (12ins)


22 -27°C (71 -81°F)


6.0 -7.2.


Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
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.
Lundberg, G. John; Dahdul, M. Wasila; 2008. Two new cis-Andean species of the South American catfish genus Megalonema allied to trans-Andean Megalonema xanthum, with description of a new subgenus (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae). Neotrop. ichthyol. vol.6 no.3 Porto Alegre 2008.



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