Astroblepids are closely related
to the Loricariids, and in fact one genus of fish
(Lithogenes Eigenman, 1909) seems intermediate
between the two families, having the shape and form
of an Astroblepid, but some plates on the body and
other morphological characters closer to Loricariids.
At the time of writing, Lithogenes is currently
placed in Loricariidae. Habitat:
Fishes of the family Astroblepidae are found in freshwaters
streams (between 200 to 13,400 feet above sea level)
of the tropical Andes from Panama to Bolivia, and
occur in both the western Pacific and eastern Amazonian
slope drainage systems in South and Central America.
Aquarium Care: Not an easy family
of catfishes to keep so they would have to have a
large tank with rocks and some appropriate vegetation.
The water would need to be fast flowing and provided
with extra oxygen via an air tube fed into the powerhead
flow. The tank should be set up with rocks so as to
provide an area where the water current will be slower.
insect larvae, spirulina tablets or paste, algae based
foods and live bloodworm would probably be the staple
diet but you may wish to try glassworm and blackworm
(although these won’t tend to stay on the substrate
unless the current takes them there). Etymology:
The specific name latidens: latus, wide;
dens, teeth, referring to wider teeth on outer row
of premaxillary compared to the similar A.
Astroblepus latidens has a restricted range
(extent of occurrence (EOO) = 17,000 km²). It
is affected by a continuing decline in habitat quality
due to deforestation for large-scale agriculture in
one of the locations, while mining and road construction
are increasing sedimentation and polluting the water
in other parts of its range. There are certainly fewer
than ten locations. Hence, the species qualifies for
listing as Vulnerable (IUCN 2016).
Piperel Climbing Catfish
Upper Meta River basin, Colombia and Suarez River
basin, Colombia. Type locality: Piperel,