or our 206th factsheet since our inception in 1997 we again welcome
back experienced catfish keeper and author Steven Grant with an
insight to "The Frog Catfish", Batrochoglanis raninus.
The Frog Catfish (coined after the meaning
of its generic and specific names) shows up now and again in aquatic
shops and auctions. It will sometimes be sold as a Microglanis
Eigenmann, 1912 but in that genus the posterior portion of the
lateral line usually does not have tubed pores.
Batrochoglanis raninus used to
be placed in the genus Pseudopimelodus Bleeker, 1858
and was sometimes classed as a nominate subspecies in that genus.
However, since 2003 it has been recognised in Batrochoglanis
Gill, 1858 and as a full species. Batrochoglanis can
easily be told apart from Pseudopimelodus by the latter
having a deeply forked caudal fin, and from Cephalosilurus
Haseman, 1911 by that genus having the lower jaw longer then the
upper. There are other species of Batrochoglanis that
sometimes appear in the hobby and these can reach sizes of up
to 20 cm, whereas B. raninus only reaches approx. 10cm
in the aquarium. The other species don’t tend to have the
caudal as white/whitish, mainly having a black or specked caudal
raninus - head view
B. raninus is not difficult
to keep as it will accept a reasonably wide range of temperature.
It isn’t an aggressive catfish but it will try and swallow
anything that may fit into the gape of its mouth so choose tankmates
carefully. During the daylight hours it will tend to hide away,
becoming an active forager and hunter at night. As such it should
be provided with caves, pipes etc to enable it to hide away during
the day. As it is a smoothed skin fish be careful not to have
it sharing hiding places with loricarids, doradids etc.
River basin: Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana,
Peru and Suriname
Although it is not a fish you will see
much of (if at all) during the day hopefully you will enjoy this
unusual but not rare catfish.
Depressed head and anterior portion of body.
Three pairs of barbels. Pectoral fin with I + 5 rays. Dorsal I and
Black (sometimes brownish) base colour;
barbels have black and white annulations; dorsal, pectoral, ventral
and anal fins black with white patches; caudal fin whitish or
brownish with black band on the distal portion of the rays; back
of head and the body underneath the adipose fin has a whitish
or brownish band with one to two similarly coloured roundish patches
on upper portion of body, just above the lateral line; the adipose
fin has similarly coloured patches at the anterior and posterior
portions, as well as the caudal peduncle area, prior to or on
the procurrent caudal fin rays. Sensory pores on head are whitish.
Generally peaceful but will try and eat fish
that can fit (width ways) into its mouth.
As yet unknown
There are no proven
external sexual differences, but females are probably more
robust in the body and have the ventral area more swollen.
Readily accepts all manner of live/frozen
foods as well as pellets.
Batrachos = a frog in Greek; glanis = a catfish in Greek.
From Rana = a frog in Latin, and the suffix -us, meaning
and A. Valenciennes,
1840. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome quinzième.
Suite du livre dix-septième. Siluroïdes. v.
15: i-xxxi + 1-540, Pls. 421-455.
Eschmeyer, W. N.
(ed). Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences.
Electronic version accessed 24 February 2013.
1999. Pseudopimelodus, Bleeker, 1858 & some related
genera (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae). Catfish Compendium:
Reis, R. E. , S. O. Kullander and C. J.
Ferraris, Jr. (eds), 2003. Check list of the freshwater
fishes of South and Central America. EDIPUCRS, Porto Alegre.
2003: i-xi + 1-729
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fin: The primary rayed
fin(s) on top of the body
fin: The primary rayed
fin(s) on top of the body.
Caudal peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin
and the tail.
Pectoral fin: The paired fins just behind the head.
Ventral fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins.
Anal fin: The fin
forward from the anal cavity.
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Lateral line: A
sensory line, along the sides of the body.