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Corydoras duplicareus Sands, 1995 

he month of April 2011 heralds the return of aquarist and author Chris Ralph
to lend his experience in keeping one of the more popular species of the Corydoradinae, Corydoras duplicareus.

Corydoras duplicareus


Corydoras duplicareus belongs to the family Callichthyidae or armoured catfishes from South America; namely Brazil the Rio Puranga 8km north of the Nouba Ouba, prior to where it joins a small tributary of the Upper Rio Negro.

Corydoras duplicareus is not very common amongst aquarium imports from South America, but is well worth looking out for in my opinion. Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to keep this rather attractive species in my home aquaria. In its natural habitat Corydoras duplicareus will be found forming shoals amongst Corydoras adolfoi. This catfish is described as being very similar in appearance to Corydoras adolfoi which has a much thinner black band running from the base of the dorsal fin to the caudal fin forming a point and its pectoral fin spine is not serrated as in C. duplicareus.


This species prefers to be kept in water which has a pH in the range of 6.0-7.2 and hardness in the range of 2-20°dGH. It is ideally suited to temperatures in the range of 23-25ºC or 73-77°F.

I would suggest a minimum 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.


The body shape of Corydoras duplicareus is described as being typical triangular Corydoras shaped. Described as having a slightly elongated body with a rounded snout. The caudal fin is described as being forked.

The base colour of the body and head is described as being light tan. The ventrolateral scutes are described as being light tan in colour interspersed with gold coloured speckling mainly around the lateral line. The dorsolateral scutes are described as being dark black in colour, with the colouration extending from the base of the dorsal fin to the caudal fin (this black band can vary in depth and is documented as varying from 4-6mm). The dorsal fin is described as having a smattering of black colouration at its base; the remaining fins are described as being light tan in colour. This catfish has a dark coloured mask from the top of the head extending through the eyes towards the operculum. The tip of the snout in front of the eye mask is described as being light gold in colour. This catfish is described as having a gold coloured patch between the rear of the eye mask and the base of the dorsal fin.

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 duplicareus would be found in relatively large shoals.

There are documented records of Corydoras duplicareus having been spawned in aquaria. See article.

Sexual Diferences

As with most other species of catfish the males tend to be more slender than the females. The females are described as being larger and plumper especially when ready to spawn. The males are described as being more strikingly coloured than the females.


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

Corydoras: Cory from the Greek meaning helmeted; doras meaning leathery skin (helmeted Doras) cuirasse.
duplicareus: from the Latin duplicare meaning to duplicate, alluding to the similar colour pattern shared with Corydoras adolfoi.


Scute: is defined as a bony plate.
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.
Caudal peduncle: is defined as the usually narrowing posterior part of the body between the anal and caudal fins.
Caudal fin: is defined as the tail fin.
Pectoral fins: are defined as paired lateral fins.
Dorsal fin: is defined as the medial fin on top of the back.
Anal fin: is defined as the medial fin immediately posterior to the anus.
Ventral fins: are defined as the paired fins between the pectoral and anal fins.
Operculum: is defined as the large bone forming the gill cover.


Photo Credits

   Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library 


Factsheet 178

Common Name:
False Adolfoi Catfish
Brazil Brazil; Rio poranga, 8 kilometres north of the Nobua oba, prior to where it  joins a small tributary of the Upper Rio Negro.
60mm s.l. (standard length – this is the measurement of the fish from the tip of the snout to the base of the caudal peduncle).
23-25°C (73-77°F)
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                                                                                                                                          Factsheet 178 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top