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.
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 fin.
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
Distrbution: Amazon 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
Amazon River basin: Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana,
Guyana, Peru and Suriname.
23.8 to 27.8°C (75 to 82°F)
Depressed head and anterior
portion of body. Three pairs of barbels. Pectoral
fin with I + 5 rays. Dorsal I and 6 rays.
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.
Care & Compatibility
Generally peaceful but will
try and eat fish that can fit (width ways) into its
As yet unknown.
There are no proven
external sexual differences, but females are probably
more robust in the body and have the ventral area
Readily accepts all manner
of live/frozen foods as well as pellets.
fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays,
behind the rayed dorsal fin. Anal fin: The fin forward from the
anal cavity. Caudal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Caudal peduncle: The
area between the dorsal fin and the tail.
Dorsal fin:The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Lateral line: A sensory line, along
the sides of the body. Pectoral fin: The paired fins just
behind the head. Ventral fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins.
Batrachos = a frog in Greek; glanis = a catfish in
From Rana = a frog in Latin, and the suffix -us, meaning