ith the onslaught of C & CW numbers in the
last twenty years or so we tend to forget these species
that were a staple diet of the catfish hobby in the
1970s and 80s and one of them was at this time a well
sought after species alongside "The Bandit Catfish"
that was Corydoras melini.
There is a similar
undescribed species with the c-number of CO84,
which comes from the Rio Tiquié in Brazil close
to the Colombian border, this species grows larger
and has a broader black body stripe, this species
lives alongside C.
tukano in the Rio Tiquié.
There are also
a few other classic look-a-likes,C.
and the undescribed species
(which is the 'saddle
nosed' relative to C. melini from linaege
1) springs to mind. C.
melini can be confused with C. davidsandsi
and C. metae but the revealing factor is the
position of the black body stripe on C. metae
which runs over the ridge of the back whereas in
C. melini it breaks and divides into two over
the back and continues to almost the end of the lower
lobe of the caudal fin, in other words it shows the
body colouration on the ridge of the back, while C.
metae, on the ridge of the back, is black.
The C. davidsandsi connection has
C. melini having the same black body stripe
ending on the bottom lobe of the caudal fin, but the
stripe separates just behind the dorsal fin and continues
as two lines over the back of the body wheras C.
davidsandsi has this black stripe covering the
ridge of the back, and the stripe continueing through
the bottom lobe of the caudsl fin. The colouration
is also different with C. melini being a dirty
white with black specks to the edges of the body scutes,
while C. davidsandsi has a tan colouration
with no specks.
Colombia, Brazil, border region,
confluence of Rio Papuri and Rio Uaupes, at Luarete.
The above images
show the two most look-a-likes to C. melini.
Corydoras melini belongs to Lineage 9 along with
C084, C. davidsandsi and C. metae
which includes the classic "short-snouted"
species. A revision in the future would likely resurrect
the genus name Hoplosoma (Agassiz, 1846),
with the designated type species of C. punctatus.
This is a very species-rich lineage and many of the
species are relatively recently evolved.
Upper Negro and Meta River basins. Type locality:
Jauareté an dem Ausfluss des Rio Papuri in
den Rio Uaupés, Brazil.
Male: 4.0cm (½ins),
Female: 4.5cm (1¾ins)
Body short and compact. A wide
black band runs diagonally from the dorsal fin spine
to the lower apex of the caudal fin. It is broad at
the beginning and becomes wedged shaped. A wide band
extends over and below both eyes, bridging the top
of the head. Sometimes a line of spots runs from the
gill covers along the lateral line, and between this
and the major some pale striping is visible. The gill
covers have a golden-yellow shimmer.
Body colour beige or brown,
dorsal fin yellowish and transparent, with the front
half of the fin having a dark colouration extending
to the apex. A wide black band runs diagonally from
the dorsal fin spine to the lower apex of the caudal
Good addition to an average
sized community tank. Purchase at least six specimens
to form a group. Provide a sand substrate in a planted
aquarium with some hiding places to make your Corydoras
This is akin to most of this
genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with
small to medium tank mates such as Tetras, Rasboras
and Danios or in a species
tank for breeding purposes.
Best to provide the ratio of
two males and one female. Breeding in the typical
Corydoras "T" formation. The eggs, which
are approximately 2.2mm in diameter, and are usually
laid in Java Moss. The eggs are not very adhesive
and are easily damaged if you try to move them. The
eggs hatch in four days. For more information on breeding
Corydoras go to the breeding
articles section of the website.
Males are more
slender than the females and the ventral fins in the
female are rounded whilst the males are pointed.
Adults can be fed the usual
good quality flake food, frozen bloodworm, tablet
foods, white and grindal worms. For new born fry the
usual fare of microworm, fry flake and brineshrimp
after the fry have used up their yolksac.
The tail. Caudal peduncle:The
narrow part of a fish's body to which the caudal or
tail fin is attached.
Dorsal fin:The primary
rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
Gills:The organs utilized
to obtain oxygen from the water. Lateral line: A sensory line, along
the sides of the body.
= helmeted; doras = leathery skin, (helmeted Doras)
cuirass. melini: Named in honour
of Swedish herpetologist Douglas Melin, who collected
the type series.
Markos & Taylor, Martin (2011). Evolution,
ecology and taxonomy of the Corydoradinae revisited. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Ian A. M. Fuller & Hans-Georg Evers
2011, Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish: Aspidoras-Brochis-Corydoras-Scleromystax-C-numbers
& CW-numbers 141p. Ian Fuller Enterprises. Seus, Werner:
Corydoras, The most Popular armoured catfishes of
South America. TUBS creativecommons.org www.corydorasworld.com