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Pimelodus pictus Steindachner, 1876

Image contributors to this species:

Leigh Murphy (2) Julian Haffegee (1) Allan James (1) Chris Ralph (2) Daniel Blom (1) BigFrogFeet (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

The occipital process has a broad base then tapers posteriorly where it comes in contact with the predorsal plate. The frontal fontanel does not extend posteriorly beyond the level of the eyes. The barbels are long and cylindrical, the maxillary barbels extending to the base of the caudal fin. Dorsal fin has a strong spine and 6 rays. The caudal fin is large, deeply forked and the lobes sharply pointed. Surface of head is covered with thin skin. Aquarium Care: The "Pictus cat" is the most popular member of the 300 or so species of the Pimelodidae family and as such is well recommended for a community tank of mid-sized fish as long as they are not "Neon Tetra" size as they will be picked off when they are enjoying their night-time cruises. They do make a nice addition to a mid-sized community tank. A few journals quote that you can keep them singly but in my experience they are never very happy in this scenario and do prefer a few of their own companions, at least 4 should suffice. They apparently don't take too kindly to hard water, as my own supply is very soft I don't have that problem. Diet: Not a problem as they will eat just about anything. They do like earthworms and other meaty foods such as whiteworm, and frozen bloodworm. Tablet food is also greedily taken.

Common Name:

Pictus Cat






South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins


11.5cm. (4½ins)


20-26°C (67-79°F)




ScotCat Factsheet 061: July 2001.



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