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Sorubim cuspicaudus Littmann, Burr & Nass, 2000

Image contributors to this species:

Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (3) Ricardo Álvarez Zamora (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Anal soft rays: 18 - 22; Vertebrae: 50 - 54. Distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: caudal fin deeply forked; outer, unbranched principal rays of upper and lower lobes longest in each lobe and about equal in length; posterior fontanelle elongate, forming conspicuous groove on supraoccipital bone, skin pigmented black in groove (vs. congeners which are without elongate posterior fontanelle, supraoccipital groove, or black pigment); unique in having combination of elongate body and broad-shaped head (vs. congeners with either elongate body and head, or stout body with broad head). Aquarium Care: Anything large enough will fit into its mouth so you should choose tankmates carefully. Large Cichlids or Plecos would be good companions or larger Characins, but they will also co-exist with one another, so 2 or 3 individuals brought together as juveniles in a larger tank would also be a good choice. Diet: In the aquarium it is important to try and wean them of live food so as not too make them too dependent on it and also not forgetting the disease factor as well. They will take a variety of larger foods such as earthworms, frozen bloodworms, tablet and pellet food. You can try prawns and also frozen fish pieces such as lancefish etc. Remarks: This is one of the largest species in this genera so would need a large tank to house a fish that will get to 80cm (32ins) in adulthood. Identified by its extremely pointed caudal fin lobes. Distrribution: Sorubim cuspicaudus occurs west of the Andean Cordillera Oriental, and is endemic to three major drainage basins in northwestern South America: Lago Maracaibo, Ríos Magdalena and Sinu. Miles (1947) reported that Sorubim (referred to as S. lima) was not found in the upper reaches of the Río Cauca in northern Colombia. The cis/trans-Andean distribution pattern exhibited by Sorubim is repeated by some other lowland fish groups that have been critically examined in recent years (see references in Vari (1988) and Harold & Vari (1994).

Common Name:

Trans-Andean shovelnose catfish






South America: Lake Maracaib, Magdalena and Sinu River basins.


80cm. (32ins)


23-30°C (73-87°F)


6.5 -7.5.


Littmann, M. W. Systematic review of the neotropical shovelnose catfish genus Sorubim Cuvier (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) Zootaxa 1422: 1-29 (8 Mar. 2007) 14 plates; 42 references.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2016. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version.
Lundberg, J.G. and M.W. Littmann, 2003. Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes). p. 432-446. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.



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