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Brachyrhamdia meesi  Sands & Black, 1985  

his is the first Factsheet of a new year (2006) and it marks a significant milestone in the history of ScotCat as we are now entering into the ninth year of bringing the latest information to you on anything that is remotely connected to the wonderful world of the Catfish.

I go back to the early eighties when I first started to take a keen interest in Catfish and in these days there was a great interest here in the U.K. in the first of Dave Sands books "Catfishes of the World" Vol. 1 which was published in 1983. The third volume (1984) concentrated on the Auchenipteridae and Pimelodidae families and it is this edition that took my interest in the then new finds of the new genes, Brachyrhamdia.

There was a difference of opinion on whether the first species identified, B. imitator, was indeed a Pimelodella, Pimelodella imitator. A paper written in 1986 by John Lundberg and Lucinda McDade on this catfish stated that "‘Pimelodella and Brachyrhamdia differ in the former having the posterior cranial fontanelle wide open from the frontals to the supraoccipital whereas it closes to two small foramina in the latter (updated S.Grant, March 2010). They do also state that Brachyrhamdia is a deeper bodied fish than the Pimelodella genus.

Brachyrhamdia meesi

The Brachyrhamdia genus was thought to be monotypic (one species) until 1985 when Barry Black and David Sands identified two more species in B. marthae and B.meesi.

There are as of date (updated March 2010), 5 species of Brachyrhamdia, B.heteropleura, B.imitator, B.rambarrani, B. marthae. and this months subject Brachyrhamdia meesi. These catfish have now been removed from their close relatives the Pimelodidae family and are now placed in a new family,

The Brachyrhamdia species tend to be "mimics" of Corydoras species and shoal with them. This is known as Batesian mimicry (Sands 1990) and they share colour patterns and eye masks of very many Corydoras species. They steal substrate food from the Corydoras and are protected in the larger shoal from large predators.

They are like most pims, terrritorial with their own kind, and as such it is advisable if keeping more than one that it will need to be over two so that the aggression is spread and diluted through a small group.

Hiding places such as pipework/rocks/slates is a good idea to keep them confident in their own surroundings. Water quality would need to be bright with either internal or external power filters for water movement and with water hardness as low as possible.

Acknowledgment : Steven Grant for extra information.


Deep pim-like body. Three pairs of barbels. Posterior cranial fontanelle wide open from the frontals to the supraoccipital.

Salmon/pink body colour with three lines from the end of dorsal insertion to the caudal peduncle. There are two lighter bands with a darker line in between. Dark band at caudal peduncle. Dark mask over eyes and top of head starting at the beginning of dorsal insertion and carrying on down to midway between pectoral and ventral fins. Dusky tips to adipose fin and dorsal first spine..

Not to be trusted with smaller inmates such as smaller tetras and fry but will do fine with larger Barbs etc.
May nip Corydoras species when feeding, so you will need to keep an eye out for this behaviour.

There are no known external sexual differences.

As yet unknown.

Readily accepts all manner of prepared foods. Catfish pellets and tablets and are particularly fond of frozen bloodworm and other "wormlike" foods.

Brachyrhamdia: Brachy = short; rhamdia = from the vernucular name 'NhamdiŠ or 'JamdiŠ.
meesi : In honour of Dr.G. Mees of the Leiden Natural History Museum, Germany.

Sands, David; Catfishes of the World Vol.3: Auchenipteridae & Pimelodidae. Dunure Publications. 1984.
Sands, David; Practical Fishkeeping, Look-Lively Lookalikes, p12-15 (no date)

Photo Credits
Allan James @ ScotCat 
Factsheet 115

Pimelodella meesi   
Common Name:
Mees' pimelodid
Amazon River basin: Near Belem, Brazil
8cm. (3¼ins)
24-26°C (75-79°F)    
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                                                                                                                                            Factsheet 115 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top