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Sorubimichthys planiceps (Spix & Agassiz, 1829)

Image contributors to this species:

Robert Sobotkiewicz (1) Nishant Kakani (4) Jean-Francois Helias (1) Enrico Richter (3) Jian Ruilong (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

The first image is of a specimen that was caught on rod and line in a lake in California, USA by the  image contributor, which points to a contaminant that had been released from a home aquarium. The last image is of a specimen that has been introduced to fishing lakes in Thailand, Asia. This may prove to be a hybrid crossed with another large South American pim. The common name of Firewood Catfish stems from the fact that when it is caught it has no food value and so it is dried for firewood instead. Mainly nocturnal and feeds primarily on nekton (actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water). Aquarium Care: Will do well as a juvenile in captivity but would need a large tank to accommodate this catfish when nearing adulthood. Can be spooked easily and can jump out of the tank if a strong weighted lid is not fitted. Would need hiding places in the aquarium to make it feel secure in its surroundings. If housed with other fish they would need to be chosen carefully due to the predatory instincts of this catfish. Really a catfish for the dedicated catfish enthusiast. Diet: Large frozen and live foods leaning towards the meaty side.

Common Name:

Firewood Catfish


Sorubim jandia, S. pirauáca, Platystoma planiceps, P.spatula. Sorubimichthys spatula, S.ortoni,  Pteroglanis manni




South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins. Type locality: Brazil: in fluminae Amazonum, Solimoëns, Rio Negro.


150cm. (5ft)


21-25°C (69-77°F)


6.0 -7.2.


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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