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. Diet:Invertebrates, 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). Remarks:
Astroblepus trifasciatus has a wide range.
It is affected by some threats, especially in the
type locality (illegal mining) but also in other parts
of its range (deforestation). However, the population
as a whole is probably not declining at a rate that
would warrant its listing in a threatened category.
Hence, it is listed as Least Concern (IUCN). It is
important to note that the type locality is severely
threatened, which is relevant due to taxonomic uncertainties;
a revaluation of this taxon may well show that the
specimens from other localities actually represent
a different species. Hence, a revaluation of conservation
status must be performed once the taxonomy is clearer.
South America:Dagua River basin and Pacific coastal drainages
of Colombia; also Magdalena and Cauca River basins,
Colombia. Type locality: Caldas,
9.0 mm. (3½ins)
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). 784 p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2017.
FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
( 06/2017 ). Usma, S., Sanchez-Duarte, P., Lasso, C., Mesa-Salazar,
L., Velasquez Quispe, M. & Hidalgo del Aguila,
M. 2016. Astroblepus trifasciatus. The IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species 2016.