ollowing on from our February 2023 factsheet we welcome
back Indian aquarist Abhisek Mishra and a further
contribution to our March factsheet of 2023 with another
east Asian catfish, this time from the Amblycipitidae
family of the Amblyceps genera namely Amblyceps
laticeps. This species is not seen very often
in the hobby.
In the great Himalayan Bio diversity hotspot spanning
across Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and China, the
complex mountain system creates an ecosystem with
high topographic and climatic heterogeneity which
is perfect for a diverse group of organisms to flourish.
That's why we see one of the richest flora and fauna
in the world found in this region. The species endemism
is also very high. The
species showcased in this factsheet calls the Himalayas
its home and it comes from the species rich streams
and rivers flowing out of the mountains in the northern
West Bengal state of India (Mishra,
collected by the image contributor (Mukherjee, N.)
at Rydak I near Shipra, Jalpaiguri
District, West Bengal.
size and trend for Amblyceps laticeps remain
unknown, as this species is only known from scanty
museum records. There is also very little information
on the biology of this species and potential impacts
of threats (especially those of an anthropogenic nature).
Although Menon (2004) regarded this species as endangered,
that assessment was based on incomplete information
about its distribution, which was believed to be more
circumscribed than is currently understood. However,
the species distribution in India and Bangladesh is
estimated to be around 40,000 km2, which makes the
species Least Concern until further information is
made available on all the above mentioned aspects
(The IUCN Red List of Threatened
Assam, Khasi hills.
Kasyah mountains, India.
Meghalaya, state of
India, is located in the northeastern part
of the country. It is bounded by the Indian
state of Assam to the north and northeast
and by Bangladesh to the south and southwest.
The state capital is the hill town of Shillong,
located in east-central Meghalaya. The main
feature that resonates with me is that the
Khasi Hills region is sometimes called the
“Scotland of the East” because
of its scenic beauty which is certainly good
enough for me.
Khasi hills. Type locality: Kasyah
Vertebrae: 41 - 43. Differs
from all Indochinese species of Amblyceps
in having a narrow head (9.5-11.1% SL versus 13.1-21.2)
with a strongly projecting lower jaw (versus non-
or weakly-projecting, except in A. platycephalus),
and a very slender, elongate body (body depth at anus
7.6-11.1% SL versus 11.2-16.9 except in A. caecutiens)
with 41-43 (versus 34-41) vertebrae. Four pairs of
barbels; maxillary pair without broad base, as long
as head and reaching gill openings, nasals reaching
hind border of eyes, outer mandibular post orbit and
inner pair shorter.
Olive brown, lighter below.
Care & Compatibility
species inhabits faster-flowing hillstreams and rivers
with a bottom of sand/rocks (Ng 2005). In home aquaria
it requires cool, well oxygenated and clean water
to go with lots of hiding spaces which may be provided
in form of plants or rock crevices so as to replicate
its natural habitat (Mishra, A.).
Being an amblyceps it requires
live food and may be afterwards be converted into
taking dry pellets.
fin:Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Gills:The organs utilized
to obtain oxygen from the water.
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Nasal barbels: On top of the head,
by the nostrils. (nasal barbels). Vertebrae: The bones of the axial
skeleton; divided into two sections, precaudal and
Amblys = blunt; ceps = from caput head. laticeps: The specific name
of laticeps means "wide or broad head"
although the description mentions A. laticeps
as having a narrow head in relation to other species
in this genus.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Khasi Hills".
Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Jul. 2010.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.
FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (04/2010). Jayaram. K.C. 2006, Catfishes of
India. Narendera Publishing House. 383p. Ng, H.H.
2010. Amblyceps laticeps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species 2010. Ng, H.H. and M. Kottelat
2000 A review
of the genus Amblyceps (Osteichthyes: Amblycipitidae)
in Indochina, with descriptions of five new species.
Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 11(4):335-348.