factsheet this month (June 2007) brings us to a member
of the Asian family, Amblycipitidae, and the Indian
Torrent Catfish, Amblyceps mangois.
one time this family was monotypic, but due to the
work carried out by Ng and Kottelat, there are now
thirteen species in this genus, A. mucronatum,
A. murraystuarti, A. platycephalus, A. foratum, A.
variegatum, A. laticeps, A. caecutiens, A.
serratum, A. tenuispinis, A. macropterus, A. carinatum,
A. apangi and our factsheet of the month, A.
mangois differs from these other species in having
a relatively short body with 34-36 (versus 38-40)
vertebrae, and a caudal fin with upper and lower lobes
of distinctly different shapes (versus truncate caudal
fin in A. murraystuarti and with both lobes
similar in shape in other Indochinese species). The
Pectoral spine is smooth. Due to the deeply forked
caudal fin (only A. tenuispinis, A. carinatum
and A. macropterus have this trait )
this catfish is sometimes referred to as "The
live in small hill-streams where the water is clear,
cool and highly oxygenated, and they hide out in the
rocks and pebbles that adorn the bottom of these streams.
This catfish has to put up with different conditions
in these streams wheras it can turn from a gently
flowing stream to a raging torrent and as such has
adapted to life in these conditions.
It can also regulate
the amount of water that enters its gills and it uses
a fold of skin that resides behind the gill opening
to suspend its breathing where oxygenated water is
retained and a slow absorption of oxygen is carried
out. It is also capable of moving from stream to stream
as their habitats dry up.
catfish is actually not too much of a problem as long
as you can provide conditions that are benificial
to its surroundings. Breaking up the surface of the
water with a spray bar is a good idea which oxygenates
the water. A bed of sand or smooth gravel, as they
like to bury themselved in the substrate, and a few
pipes and caves for them to hide away and feel secure
in their surroundings.
Dorsal 1/6; pectorals: 1,7;
Ventrals i, 5; Anal fin ii-iii, 7-9; Caudal 19. Eyes
small and subcutaneous. Jaws unequal, either jaw may
be longer than the other. Teeth villiform in bands
on upper jaw produced at the sides, lower jaw a similar
narrow band which is interrupted in the middle. Palate
without teeth. Four pairs of barbels; maxillary barbels
reaching middle or end of pectoral spine, nasal barbels
equaling head length, outer and inner mandibular barbels
as long as nasal. Rayed dorsal fin inserted almost
above pectoral fin base, with six rays and a concealed
spine not reaching pelvic fin. Pelvic fin not reaching
anal fin. Anal fin not reaching caudal fin. Least
height of caudal peduncle 1.0 to 1.6 in its length.
Caudal fin deeply forked, upper lobe longer.
Olive brown lighter below.
A dark lateral band branching towards caudal and
anal base may be present.
Care & Compatibility
Best kept with larger Danio's
such as "The Giant Danio" (Danio aquepinneatus)
Barbs and Rasboras. Any medium sized fish that like
water movement in the aquarium.
This species breeds
in the summer in its natural habitat. Not yet bred
Females have a
pair of unbranched ovaries and are smaller than the
males who have branched testes.
In their natural habitat their
diet consists of aquatic insects and larvae. In an
aquarium set-up they like worm foods such as frozen
bloodworm and whiteworm. They feed very much like
the Tatia species from South America where
they feed frantically on the move, twisting and turning
to take the food.
Monotypic: Having only
one species, such as a monotypic family of fishes. Subcutaneous: Positioned beneath
the skin. Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to
the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels) Nasal barbels: On top of the head,
by the nostrils. (nasal barbels) Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to
the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
= blunt; ceps = from caput head.
the Forked-tailed Catfish,
Aquarist & Pondkeeper, March 1994, p74-77. Jayaram, K.C.; Catfishes of India,
Narendera Publishing House. p156-157. Ng, H.H., 2005 Amblyceps carinatum,
a new species of hillstream catfish from Myanmar (Teleostei:
Amblycipitidae). Raffles Bull. Zool. 53(2):243-249.