juruense is also
known by its common name of the Zebra Catfish. This
magnificent catfish belongs to the family Pimelodidae,
representatives of which can be found widespread throughout
the rivers of South America. This catfish was first
described by the famous ichthyologist G. A. Boulenger
of the British Natural History
Museum after the genus was erected in 1862 by Pieter
Bleeker on the basis of the type species Brachyplatystoma
tigrinum is quite closely
related to our factsheet of the month, but
has a longer upper jaw, and the first rays of the
dorsal and pectoral fins are described as being flexible
and not pungent. Both of these catfish share a similar
colour pattern of inclined stripes on the body, although
it has to be said that Brachyplatystoma tigrinum
is the more striking of the two fish. Brachyplatystoma
juruense is quite often referred to as the "False
grown specimens will lose the white cross bands of
the juvenile pattern and begin to sport a darker body
This is of course
a catfish for only the most experienced of catfish
keepers and as it will grow to a length of around
the 2 ft (60cm) mark, a large tank for an adult of
at least 6' 0" (180cm), or over, is called for.
Subdued lighting is best for
this species as you may spot it out during the day.
Provide hiding places such as
large stone caves and driftwood strategically placed
throughout the aquarium so your specimen can move
and seek out another refuge in the tank. If
hiding places are not provided they will clamp there
fins and try to hide behind heaters and filter tubes.
Only keep with its own kind or larger non-catfish
species such as large Pacu's or similar Characins
as they are out and out predators.
Platystoma juruense, Ginesia
Orinoco River basin. Type locality:
Rio Jurua, an affluent of the Amazons, Brazil.
Head strongly flattened. Maxillery
barbels can grow to nearly body length. Upper and
lower caudal filaments greatly extended.
Inner premaxilary teeth: narrow
and long, outer ones shorter, thicker and curved strongly
Body light brown to dirty
grey with numerous light brown to yellow vertical
bands. Caudal fin with black and yellow spotted
pattern. Individuals can vary in colour pattern.
Care & Compatibility
Suggested tank mates! anything
that does not constitute a meal, I would suggest some
of the larger Characins as opposed to any other catfish,
which may compete for territory. Most enthusiasts
would keep this catfish as a single specimen in a
large display aquarium.
There are no known
obvious external sexual differences.
As these are predatory catfish
they prefer meaty foods such as whole prawns, mussels,
pieces of fish, beef heart (sparingly) and earthworms
etc. Feed only once or twice a week.
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Premaxilary: In
relation to the premaxilla (an upper jaw bone) e.g.
premaxillary tooth band.
Greek, brachys, eia = short + Greek, platys = flat
+ Greek, stoma = mouth. juruense:This "pim" (Brachyplatystoma)
named after the river of the type locality, Rio Jurua.
H.A. and R. Riehl 1995 Aquarien Atlas. Band
4. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Verlag für Natur- und
Heimtierkunde, Melle, Germany. 864 p. Schreiber, Roland; Keeping Brachystoma
juruense. Tropical fish Hobbyist April 1994.