has been a few months (October 2001) since my last Corydoras
factsheet and I did not need a second reminder when
I was sent a factsheet request to include this delightful
little Cory in the factsheets archive.
is actually a recent addition, in aquarium terms anyway,
to the catfish hobby and was collected by Foersch and
Hanrieder in a mountain brook at the side of the Rio
Lullapichis (Ucayali/Peru) in 1969. It was not until
1971 that it was named in honour of the Giant Panda
of China (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), which its
markings resemble, by Nijssen & Isbrücker.
The water conditions in this black water river was a
pH of 7.7 and 3.1dGH. The temperature of the water ranged
from 23.5°C (74.3°F) during the day and dropping
down to 22.5°C (72°F) in the evening.
The panda cory
created a great disturbance in the late 70's early 80's
when it started to get a foothold in the hobby due to
a breeding project carried out in Germany accumulating
with this species arriving in the U.K. around about
1982. My abiding memory was of seeing this Corydoras
at the British Aquarist Festival in Manchester of that
year, with them priced on a stall at £40 each,
needless to say I did not purchase any, I only admired
them from afar!.
Of course nowadays
this is a relatively inexpensive Corydoras to
purchase as it has been bred often and proven to be
hardy and not too hard to breed in the aquarium.
There is a Leucistic
specimen that are
believed to have been bred in Germany and are not albino
but close to being leucistic i.e., pigment in the body
with black eyes as seen below.
There is a clue
in the collection data of this species in that it likes
the water to be on the cooler side as it was first collected
in the foothills of the Andes Mountains and as such
the lower temperatures suits this Corydoras ideally,
but in saying that the species in your tank has probably
been far removed from the wild generation and would
be used to temperatures in the high seventies, but I
would be inclined to stick to the middle range of between
21°C-24°C (69°F-75°F.) A good pH range
would be around the neutral mark (7) as they do not
like the water to be too acidic.
This is a small
inoffensive little Cory which will do better in a shoal,
so buy at least six or more individuals. It would also
be advisable not to keep rombustous species in with
them such as Tiger Barbs and other fin nipping species
as they would worry them to death with their constant
harassment and would also deprive them of food as they
would be inclined not to venture out for feeding, large
Cichlids would also be a bad choice. A good community
tank for them would house inoffensive tetras such as
Neon's and other smaller characins, and if you would
like other catfish any of the Ancistrus types
would make good partners and of course other Corydoras
or Aspidoras species. If you would like to breed
Corydoras panda a species tank is the only way
to go with a tank size of 18"x 12" x 12"
being ideal for a group of six.
is placed in Lineage 9, the "short-snouted"
species with the designated type species: C. punctatus.
A revision in the future would constitute the resurrection
of the genus name Hoplosopma (Agassiz, 1846).
Upper Amazon River basin. Type locality:
Peru, Est. Huanuco, Aquas Amarillas, tributary of
Río Pachitea, Ucayali river system.
Male: 4.5cm (1¾ins)
Female: 5.0cm (2ins)
Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Head
short and compact.
Body sandy coloured with black
spot/patch on caudal peduncle and dorsal. Black band
bridges head and covers both eyes. Gold shimmer to
gill covers. Rest of fins hyaline (clear).
Care & Compatibility
This is akin to most of this
genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with
small to medium tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras
and Danios or in a species
tank for breeding purposes.
Not too difficult, will breed
as per any Corydoras species giving a good
diet and water conditions, and water changes of a
lower temperature to induce spawning. Two males to
one female or one pair. Setup could be a 18"x12"x12"
tank with sand or bare bottom with Java moss, Java
fern and a sponge filter, adding if you like a power
filter for extra aeration and circulation of the water
all leading to a hopefully successful spawning. See
the breeding section of theScotCatarticles
page to read many successful spawning reports of the
Like all Corydoras they
like a good quality flake food which will have all
the goodness and vitamins that they need and also
tablet food. For a breeding project they relish frozen
bloodworm, grindal and whiteworm.
Corydoras:Cory = helmeted; doras =
leathery skin, (helmeted Doras) cuirass. panda:
'Panda' alludes to the colour pattern of this Corydoras
which resembles the Giant Panda of China.
Markos & Taylor, Martin. (2011). Evolution,
ecology and taxonomy of the Corydoradinae revisited.
Ian A. M. Fuller & Hans-Georg Evers
2011, Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish: Aspidoras-Brochis-Corydoras-Scleromystax-C-numbers
& CW-numbers 141p. Ian Fuller Enterprises. Nieuwenhuizen, Arend van den; Focus on Catfish, Corydoras (part1) (Suitable
for beginners) Aquarist & Pondkeeper Nov.1987.