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 Corydoras oiapoquensis   Nijssen, 1972                           

his cory is like a Corydoras panda look-alike, the difference being is that C .oiapoquensis has the caudal peduncle spot on the base of the caudal fin, plus the tail has about 3 bands whereas C. panda has a clear tail. Apart from that they are very much alike, but I have found C. oiapoquensis to be a very shy fish, hence the quick and not so great photo here, as the fish appeared instead of waiting for it to come nearer, you can still see the main characteristics in the image.

Corydoras oiapoquensis

Corydoras oiapoquensis occurs in the wild alongside a long-snouted look-a-like Corydoras condiscipulus. The Latin name of condiscipulus actually means schoolmate pertaining to the fact that they are together much of the time. You can see in the pictures below the difference in the length of the snout.

Corydoras oiapoquensis

  Corydoras condiscipulus

Above pictures showing Corydoras oiapoquensis on left and
 Corydoras condiscipulus on the right.

They were imported into the U.K., as far as I know, about 1996. The top picture is the male, I think, as the females don't get very gravid looking or heavy before the spawning cycle, so sometimes you can make a mistake identifying them. I was lucky and picked up 2 males and 1 female from a well known outlet in the north of England in March 98 and housed them in a 17" x 15" x 15" tank. Every time that I appeared in the fishhouse they would scatter about the tank and so I decided to cover the top of the tank to cut down on the light.

About 1 month later, with the tank being in darkness most of the time, I did not notice that they had spawned, with about 12 eggs laid on the Java Moss.  I had missed the first spawning as the parents must have ate the fry, so I took the eggs out to a separate container. The eggs are a kind of rusty/orange colour and about 2mm in size.

Below is a small photo gallery of the breeding of Corydoras oiapoquensis, just click on the thumbnail to get a larger image.

Picture of egg 2mm with grains of sand attached to it.

Picture of egg 2mm with grains of sand attached to it.
Three youngsters 10 weeks old. Three youngsters 10 weeks old.
Youngster at 10 weeks old. Youngster at 10 weeks old.


There are a few variations of this species where there is no banding in the tail and some that have no black blotch in the dorsal.

Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Head short and compact.

Flesh coloured body. Dorsal fin with black blotch to base. Caudal fin with black blotch at the base with dark bands. Black band covering eyes. Adipse fin with a black marking to leading edge.

A tank setup would entail a soft substrate such as sand or a small gravel and a nice plant covering around the back and sides of the aquarium. If housed in a community tank a mixture of small South American characins or the smaller varieties of Asian Rasboras would suffice, as larger fishes would intimidate these shy Cory's, and would stop them eating and would be therefore detrimental to their overall health.

As stated above, the tank size, but a 18" x 12" x 12" would suffice. When they spawned the tank parameters were a temp.of 77f and a pH of 6.with a GH of 1. As mentioned before they are apt to eating very small fry, so it is advised to take the eggs away and introduce the fry back, if desired, at about 1 month old. They are quite an easy species to spawn and I was surprised that they did when the pH was on the low side. A very shy species and likes to hide in the tank, so give pots etc.for their comfort.

The usual fare for adult Corydoras, a good quality flake food, tablet food, frozen bloodworm and whiteworm used sparingly.The fry can be fed brine shrimp from a very early age and grow quick in the first month, then they are apt to slow down.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
oiapoquensis: Named for the Rio Oiapoque in French Guiana were this Corydoras gets its name from.

Burgess, W.E. 1992. Colored Atlas of Miniature Catfish. Every Species of Corydoras, Brochis & Aspidoras. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 224 p.

Photo Credits
Top & Photo Gallery: Allan James @ ScotCat 

Middle Pictures :       Sandy Milne
Factsheet 014

Common Name:
Stripe Tailed Panda
 French Guiana  French Guiana, Cumuri Creek at left bank of Río Oiapoque upstream of first rapids of Grande Roche,  southwest of  village Oiapoque
5.5cm. (2¼ins)
23-25°c (73-77°f.)
6.0 - 7.2
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                                                                                                                                        Factsheet 14= updated January 16, 2005, © ScotCat 1997-2018   Go to Top