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Kryptopterus vitreolus Ng & Kottelat, 2013

Image contributors to this species:

Paul Turley (1) Nathan Sudell (2) Hayley Ahern (2) Allan James (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory  


Relevant Information:

Often misadentified as K. bicirrhis which grows larger and is not often seen in the hobby. This species was also thought to be K.minor which has been exported extensively over the past 30 years but is only found in Borneo. Due to the work carried out by Ng & Kottelat this year (2013) this species has now been renamed as K. vitreolus. Abstract: Despite being known to aquarists and scientists since 1934 (Sterba, 1970), the exact identity of the glass catfish has not been thoroughly investigated. The present study resolves this deficiency, in the course of which we discovered that the glass catfish is neither K. bicirrhis nor K. minor, but an unnamed species that we describe herein as K. vitreolus. K. vitreolus can be told apart from K. minor, K. piperatus and all other K. bicirrhis group members by the following combination of characters: snout length 29–35 % HL; eye diameter 28–34 % HL; body depth at anus 16–20 % SL; depth of caudal peduncle 4–7 % SL; maxillary barbels extending beyond base of first anal-fin ray; dorsal profile with pronounced nuchal concavity; 14–18 rakers on the first gill arch; 48–55 anal-fin rays. Aquarium Care: Keep them in a reasonably large tank, well planted at the back and sides, and with a good flowing current from your filter to imitate its habitat. It is a good community fish and will not eat or harass other fish unless they are small enough to be eaten, i.e.fry. Diet: Will except flake food but does relish small livefood such as Daphnia and brineshrimp. This catfish is not too good at collecting food from the aquarium floor, so feed as you would for Characins & Barbs etc. Remarks: The species name, vitreolus, means 'of glass’, in reference to the transparent appearance of this species.

Common Name:

Ghost Catfish, Asian Glass Catfish






Asia: Known only from a series of coastal river basins of Peninsular Thailand draining into the Gulf of Thailand south of the Isthmus of Kra, plus a handful of rivers draining the Cardamom (Khao Banthat) Mountains in southeastern Thailand. Type locality: Thailand: Trat Province, Amphoe Khao Saming.


7cm. (2¾ins)


24-28°C (75-83°F)




ScotCat Factsheet no. 45. March 2000.
Ng, H-H. and M. Kottelat, 2013 - Zootaxa 3630: 308-316 After eighty years of misidentification, a name for the glass catfish (Teleostei: Siluridae).



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