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Corydoras diphyes  Axenrot & Kullander, 2003

Regular contributor Chris Ralph returns again this month to spotlight a comparatively new Corydoras species which was only named 5 years ago in 2003, Corydoras dyphyes. I now hand you over to Chris.

orydoras diphyes
belongs to the family Callichthyidae or Armoured Catfishes from South America; namely Paraguay, and is documented as being restricted to the tributaries of the Río Monday, Río Acaray, the right bank tributaries of the Río Paraná and a small stream at Estancia María Balén. Corydoras diphyes is also documented as being found in Brazil.

Corydoras diphyes

It is a recently described species of Corydoras (2003) and not yet commonly available to the hobbyist. When this catfish is available expect to pay around £5-£8 (UK) per fish. In its natural habitat Corydoras diphyes usually occurs in areas which have sandy substrates with bank vegetation entering the water. The water in which they are found varies from dark (stained with tannins) to clear or slightly turbid.



Corydoras diphyes = close up of head


Corydoras diphyes prefer to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2. This catfish is ideally suited to temperatures in the range of 23-26ºC or 73-79°F.

I would suggest a minimum tank size of 24” x 15” X 12” for a small shoal of these fascinating little catfish. I would suggest good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium Sand, or very smooth rounded gravel as the preferred substrate when keeping these catfish. The aquarium should provide some shelter in the form of rocks or bogwood along with some aquatic plants. As with all other species of fish, water quality and general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a weekly to fortnightly basis.

This particular catfish is documented as being mimicked by
Otocinclus mimulus.

The body shape of Corydoras diphyes is described as being typical triangular Corydoras shaped. The body is described as having relatively low scute numbers with 23-24 in the dorsal row, 20-21 in the ventral row, and 2-4 pre-adipose scutes. The dorsal head profile is described as being clearly convex. The caudal fin is described as being truncate.

The base colour of the body and head is light tan with a number of darker brown coloured spots or blotches on the head and along the length of the body. There are distinct dark stripes in both the dorsal and caudal fins.


Wherever possible I would recommend that the aquarist keep these catfish in a community aquarium in small groups of six or more, but as the absolute minimum I would suggest three specimens assuming that they are available in these numbers. In their natural habitat Corydoras diphyes would be found in relatively large shoals.


As far as I am aware there are no documented records of Corydoras diphyes having been spawned in aquaria to date (April 2008).
(Editors note: This Corydoras is now being bred in the U.K. (2009) by members of the
Catfish Study Group)

Sexual differences
The males tend to be more slender than the females. Unlike the majority of other members of the family Callichthyidae Corydoras diphyes is documented as not having elongated dorsal and pectoral fins in either sex.

As with all the other catfish that I have had the pleasure to keep over the years, Corydoras diphyes readily accepts a mixed and varied diet which includes granular foods, frozen bloodworm and good quality flake to name but a few.

Glossary of Terms
Scute is defined as a bony plate.
Truncate is defined as cut off or blunt.
Adipose is defined as a second dorsal fin which in the case of Corydoras consists of fatty tissue with a single spine supporting a thin membrane.
Dorsal is defined as being top or above.
Ventral is defined as bottom, below or underneath.


Cory = helmet, Doras = skin.
Diphyes is from the Greek word meaning double nature which refers to the unique colour patterns observed in this species – spotted and striped.

Photo Credits

Images by Author

Factsheet 142

Common Name:


South America: Monday River and Acaray River, Paraná River basin, Paraguay. Type locality: Paraguay: Departamento Caaquazú: río Paraná drainage, small sream (arroyo) at Estancia María Belén, 8 km from Colonel Patricio Colman, 25º40'13"S, 55º5'52"W.
4.5cm ( 1¾ins)
22-25°C (71-77°F)
6.0 -7.2.
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                                                                                                     Factsheet 142 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top