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. Description:
This species is distinguished by the following characters:
adipose fin with well-developed membrane, no spine;
maxillary wattle reaching beyond the oral disk; first
pectoral radius shorter than head longitude; soft
branching radii 7; first radius of pelvic fin does
not reach the anus; premaxillary has 1-5 bicuspid
and 4-9 conical teeth in external row; first simple
radii of caudal fin have a short extension; fifth
ceratobrachial bone with 9 teeth in the anterior region;
free vertebrae 25. 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 onzagaensis: –ensis,
suffix denoting place: Municipio de Onzaga, Departamento
de Santander, Colombia, type locality.
Colombia. Type locality: Municipio
de Onzaga, Departamento de Santander, Colombia.