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Vandellia cirrhosa  Valenciennes, 1846

Image contributors to this species:

Robbie N. Cada (1 Art)  Peru Aquarium Group (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Art Gallery Etymology = Genus Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

There are 3 species in this genera, V. cirrhosa, V. beccarii ( from the Orinoco River basin and rivers of Guyana) and V. sanguinea (from the Amazon, Orinoco and Essequibo River basins). V.cirrosa seems to be the more common species of the Candiru. This is the species that has gained a fearsome reputation for entering the gill chambers of larger fishes and feeding on the blood from the gills. Probably the most disturbing habit is entering the urogenital openings of mammals, including human bathers, in the water. It will lock its opercular and interopercular spines and has to be surgically removed from its intended victim. Aquarium Care: Not easy to keep and would need to be housed on their own as larger fish would be preyed upon for their blood in the gill chambers. Sand is the best substrate for digging themselves into and floating plants to cut the light down for this light sensitive species. Diet: Very difficult as all reports seem to intimate that they need larger fish to feed on.

Common Name:



Vandellia gigantea, Plectrochilus erythrurus, Urinophilus erythrurus 




South America: Amazon River basin


5.0cm. (2ins)


23-26°c (73-79°f.)




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).
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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