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Corydoras tukano  Britto & Lima, 2003   

his Corydoras is like one of those intriguing conspiracy stories where you don't know fact from fiction. What has that got to do with a Corydoras I hear you ask!. Well when this Cory was first photographed in 1997 in the Japanese magazine "Aquamagazine" and then imported to the U.K. about the same time, Corydoras sp. reynoldsi "Asher" was the name that they were imported with, and the vote was split down the middle amongst the top Cory breeders in the U.K. whether this was indeed the true Corydoras reynoldsi or indeed a new species still to be described. This Cory has been given the C-number, C064.

From information given to me by one of the top U.K. Cory breeders, Ian Fuller, according to Hans-Georg Evers, the German aquarist, breeder and author, Corydoras sp.cf.reynoldsi or Corydoras sp. reynoldsi 'Asher' is indeed the real C. reynoldsi and he has had his thoughts confirmed by Stanley Weitzman who described the original species in 1960. Asher Benzaken is the name of the exporter of this fish from the port of Manaus, Brazil and who has a fish farm in this area.

Well you might just say that that is the mystery solved then, but hold on there is another twist to the story. another of the top U.K. Corydoras breeders, Jim Makin, has verified that he bred Corydoras reynoldsi in the early 80's and the males did not have the longer dorsal that these 'asher' have and they also bred not unlike Corydoras paleatus with lots of small eggs in a mass. The difference with sp 'asher' is that they lay small amounts of eggs here and there and the eggs are the largest I have ever seen from a Cory, a whopping 2.2mm in size. Jim has bred and raised this larger egged species and I have also had eggs and raised the fry from my collection, and the sizes do match up.
The females I found to grow that little bit larger than the males.

Corydoras tukano

Another bone of contention is the body pattern. As you can see in the above picture there are two large blotches on the body, one at the posterior of the dorsal running down to the ventral fins and the other bridging the area akin to the adipose and anal fins. There is also a small dark patch running down the back and a black band running through both eyes. In the original line drawing below of Corydoras reynoldsi there is also two blotches in the same area but they don't spread down through the body, are only small with the dorsal/ventral spot being broken in two. The body shape of these two illustrations are very much alike so one wonders if it is only a pattern variation which occur in the wild from different locations and they are indeed one and the same fish.

Corydoras reynoldsi
Corydoras reynoldsi Myers & Weitzman, 1960, holotype
(reproduction of illustration in Myers & Weitzman, 1960, fig. 2)

To add even more confusion to this scenario is that there is a long-nose version of this species which is identical in every aspect apart of course in the longer snout. This species hails from the tributaries in the upper Rio Negro, Brazil, so could our sp "asher" also come from this same area and live alongside its larger cousin, as the port of Manaus the export station, is of course down the Rio Negro with its confluent with the Amazon River. So you can make your own mind up until we are told by the ichthyologists, when they get round to working with this species, if indeed they are one and the same species.

Now that we move away from the scientific bit, how do we keep this Corydoras. From my experiences they are very easy and adapt to most water conditions as long as they are not too diverse. They do nicely in a small group and you can tell the girls from the boys by the longer dorsal in the smaller male and the fuller and larger body of the female.

Acknowledgments: Jim Makin and Ian Fuller of the
Catfish Study Group for their input and also to Jim for providing the original papers and article on Corydoras reynoldsi.

Update; August 2003. I am know led to believe that this species is indeed the true Corydoras reynoldsi confirmed to me by the German aquarist and author Hans-Georg Evers. The C-number, C064, has now been retired.

Update; December 2003. The new name of Corydoras tukano has now been given to this species by Marcelo R.Britto of Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and Flávio C.T.Lima. The ichthyologists have finely finished work on this Cory and you can read a short
abstract on their published work on ScotCat.

Small round head. Male dorsal fin longer than female.

Two large blotches on the body, one at the posterior of the dorsal running down to the ventral fins and the other bridging the area akin to the adipose and anal fins. A small dark patch running down the back and a black band running through both eyes.

This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species tank for breeding purposes.


I set up 2 males and a female in a 18" x 12" x 12" tank with sand, Java moss, Java fern and a sponge filter. They laid 11 eggs scattered throughout the aquarium, high on the glass and also low on a flower pot. The water parameters were a P.h.of 6.5 and water temperature of 76F, K.H., 3., G.H.,1. The eggs are large measuring 2.2mm and the largest of any Corydoras that I have bred. Unfortunately the eggs did not hatch and were not viable. They also laid eggs about a week later but they were not fertilised either. I have since then purchased more of this species and I hope to record some success with this most beautiful of Corydoras at a later date.

Update: I have now bred and raised the fry and and you can now find this
article on Ian Fullers, Corydoras World website.

The usual fare for adult Corydoras, a good quality flake food, tablet food, frozen bloodworm and whiteworm used sparingly.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.

Myers & Weitzman,1960:(figs. 1, 10; table 11 H). Aqualog News, First import of the beautiful plated cat Corydoras sp. aff. reynoldsi.

Photo Credits
Top picture:       Allan James @  ScotCat

Bottom picture: Helen Burns
Factsheet 051

Common Name:
Bumblebee Cory, Asher Cory, C064 
Brazil Brazil, Rio Tiquié, upper Rio Negro basin.
Male:4.0cm (1¾ins) Female: 4.5.cm ( 2ins)
22-25°C (71-77°F)
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                                                                                                                          Factsheet 51= updated April 14, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top