tandanus (Mitchell, 1838)
contributors to this species:
||Head large; thick and
fleshy lips; nostrils tubular. First dorsal fin high, with a strong
serrated spine and 6 rays. Skin tough and smooth. Body coloration
in adults vary from olive-green to brown, black or purplish dorsally
and white ventrally. Urogenital papilla triangular in females;
longer and cylindrical in males. Adults inhabit slow moving streams,
lakes and ponds with fringing vegetation. They swim close to sand
or gravel bottoms. More abundant in lakes than in flowing water.
They are usually solitary but juveniles sometimes form loose aggregations.
Aquarium Care: It may come as a surprise that for such
a large fish (90cm) they are quite suited for an aquarium as juveniles
and can become quite tame in captivity. I would of course not
house them with small fish and you would be looking for a larger
tank of 4ft and above to accommodate them. The size of 90cm is
of course the size they grow to in their natural habitat and they
will grow only to about half (45cm) this size in an aquarium,
so housing them with larger Characins and or Cichlids could work
but I would be more inclined to house even a pair of them by themselves.
They are not overly territorial but I would include some retreats
for them with safely constructured rockwork. These fish are great
escape artists so make sure you have a properly constructed lid
for your tank. Diet: Mainly bottom-feeders and
feed on insect larvae, prawns, crayfish, mollusks, and small fishes.
Breeding: Occurs between spring and mid-summer
when water temperatures rise to between 20° and 24°C.
One word of warning with these fish, as with most cats of the
Plotisidae family, is their very sharp dorsal and pectoral
spines. Remarks: Update April 2013:
Tandanus tandanus are now protected in South Australia
and Victoria and NSW fisheries has recognised the Murray-Darling
Basin population to be endangered.
Catfish, Jewfish, Tandan
the Murray-Darling basin in North Western Victoria and Western
New South Wales. Type locality: Lagoon near Tangulda,
Namoi River, New South Wales; river between Gwydir River and MacIntyre
River, New South Wales.
no. 49. July 2000.
Allen, G.R., S.H. Midgley and M. Allen
2002 Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia.
Western Australian Museum, , Perth, Western Australia. 394 p.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Rogers, Louissa; pers comm. April 2013.