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Corydoras virginiae  Burgess, 1993  

his Corydoras has been around since, as far as my investigations go, 1982. It was first captioned in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in that year by Dr.Burgess as possibly Corydoras bicolor, and later on in 1990 in David Sands Catfishes of the World volume 1, as a colour variation of Corydoras delphax. To add further to the mystery you can also see this fish in Werner Seus's Corydoras book as C004 ( the numbers given out by the German publication, DATZ, to unidentified Cory's), but it is in this book that a further caption explains the new name and the author.
It was named Corydoras virginiae by Dr.Warren E.Burgess in 1993 in honour of Adolfo Schwartz's wife, Virginia.

Corydoras virginiae

The picture above is one of four that I purchased in 1990 as Corydoras “zangama” a trade name given to them in the UK around that period, they reside in my 6' 0" community tank in my lounge with large cats (Syno's, Chrysichthys etc.) and a few large characins. They have been very hardy and can compete no problem at all with the other occupants for food.

Corydoras virginiae

Corydoras virginiae in a dealers bare-bottom tank. You can see the change in colouration to the first specimen in a matured community tank.

As mentioned this is quite a hardy Cory and will do fine in a community tank. Would be best to purchase a group of 4-6 or even more as they do like their own company. Below in the breeding table is a report on the spawning activity of this species kindly supplied by U.S. author and aquarist Larry Vires.

Acknowledgments: Larry Vires for his contribution to this Factsheet.

Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Elongated snout.

Silvery/beige with dark mask over eyes and dark blotch leading from the front of dorsal down to gill covers. Gill-covers have a yellow/orange glimmer. All fins clear.

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 but will do well with larger species or in their own tank for breeding purposes.


Breeding report from Larry Vires: “ I received a group of 6 fish ranging in size from 1.5-2.0" SL April of 1997. The fish did not have any noticeable dimorphism, but were fed very heavily on blackworms and tablet foods for the next 3 months. Water quality was maintained at a pH of 7.0 and Total Dissolved Solids were approximately 150 ppm. Along with weekly water changes, the fish, 3 after shipping losses, all grew to a maximum size of 2" rather quickly and one of the fish became rather plump. However, there was no spawning activity noticed. I then decided to use a trick which I had used with other wild-caught Corydoras. It is not highly scientific, but is effective. Water changes of approximately 25% are done daily with reverse osmosis water which is about 15' F cooler than the tank water, which should be around 82' F. This will usually have an affect after about a week, but these fish are very stubborn and did not spawn until 3 weeks had gone by. There were only about 25 eggs from each spawning, but the fry were large for Corydoras, and grew to 3/4" in their first month. Brine shrimp nauplii were fed for the first 2 months, and blackworms were added to the diet after the first month.
Flake foods should also be supplemented into their diet 3-4 times a week to ensure a well rounded diet.”

The usual fare for adult Corydoras, a good quality flake food, tablet food, frozen bloodworm and whiteworm used sparingly.

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
: This Corydoras was named in honour of Adolfo Schwartz's wife, Virginia.

Burgess, E.Warren, Dr. Tropical Fish Hobbyist, 1982.
Sands, David. Catfishes of the World V1 Supplement 1990.
Seuss Werner. Corydoras. The most popular armoured catfishes  of South America.
Larry Vires, Catfish Mailing List 1998.

Photo Credits
Top picture:        Allan James @ ScotCat

Bottom picture:  Julian Dignall @
 Planet Catfish         
Factsheet 013

Common Name:
Virginia's Catfish, Corydoras "Miguelito", Corydoras "zangama"
Peru Peru : Rio Ucayali  
6cm (2½ins)
23-27°C (73-81°F)
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                                                                                                                                             Factsheet 13= updated April 14, 2005 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top