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Corydoras eques  Steindachner, 1877

orydoras eques
was, not so long ago, the holy grail for Corydoras catfish keepers but now with imports of this beautiful species and aquarium spawning's as well, this is the Cory that we now feature in this months October 2013 factsheet. First described (as Osteogaster eques) as long ago as 1876 by the Austrian zoologist Franz Steindachner and it has only intermittently appeared on importers lists.




Corydoras eques - male


There are three species that are very similar to Corydoras eques. The first species depicted here was collected in the type locality for C. eques in Brazil and is the true C. eques. The other two species that are alike are from Peru, one is caught alongside C. rabauti in the upper Ucayali, Corydoras cf. eques, which has been given the CW number of CW043 and is almost identical to C. eques apart from a slight difference in body shape and colour pattern, and the other is captured alongside C. zygatus and has been given the CorydorasWorld number of CW007.


Corydoras sp. CW043


Corydoras sp. CW007


Corydoras sp. CW043
Corydoras sp. CW007


The first thing that you notice when you acquire this species is the relentless swimming motions in the aquarium, especially in a species only breeding tank setup. They will come to the front of the tank as soon as you approach the aquarium and will swim up and down on the front glass. This was a pleasant surprise for me and water changes are a source of delight for them. After having previously purchased a group of CW010s, and there crepuscular habits, this was a nice change.



Type Locality: Brazil; Rio Amazonas at Codajas


Type Locality: Brazil; Rio Amazonas at Codajas


Aquarium Care: This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium sized tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species only tank for breeding purposes. Best to purchase 6 individuals or more, although they are still quite expensive, as they will be happier in a group



Short and compact body shape.


Body with a turquoise to blue colouration. Supraoccipal with an orange blotch. In a certain light you can see a darker band running along the top of the body from the nape to the adipose fin. All fins are clear with a light orange colouration to the soft rays and darker to the hard rays. The chin and underbelly are white. The colouration of this species very much depends on the colour of the substrate.


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

These fish have proven to be rather difficult to breed but it can be done (Graham Ramsay). Place a conditioned pair or two in a smallish tank with a sponge filter and lots of fine-leaved plants. Include floating plants as the fish like to lay their eggs near the surface. A period of stability of several weeks can be followed by a large water change with cooler water. If you are lucky, the fish will spawn in the usual corydoras manner laying several hundred eggs in the process.

Sexual differences

Females grow larger and have a heavier looking body shape. Males are slimmer by comparison.



Readily accepts a mixed and varied diet which includes granular foods, tablet food, frozen bloodworm and good quality flake to name but a few.


Corydoras: Cory from the Greek meaning helmeted; doras meaning leathery skin (helmeted Doras) cuirass.
From ‘eques’, a horse.


Fuller, I.A.M. & Evers, H-G: 2005 Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish 384 p
Seus, Werner; Corydoras The most popular armoured catfishes of South America. Dähne Verlag. 218p.

Google Maps - ©2013 Google
Ramsay, Graham; Corydoras eques – the horseman’s corydoras. The Fair City Aquarist Society web page http://fcas.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/corydoras-eques-the-horsemans-corydoras/

Glossary of Terms

Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.

Supraoccipal: Unpaired bone at the back of the skull, usually with a crest.

Photo Credits

Top image: © Allan James @ ScotCat


Bottom images: © Ian Fuller @CorydorasWorld

Factsheet 208

Osteogaster eques
Common Name:
Horseman Cory
Brazil; Rio Amazonas at Codajas
5.0cm. Male (2ins) 5.5cm Female (2¼ins)
22-26°C (71-79°F)    
6.0 - 7.5.
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