his genera of the Auchenipteridae family contains four
species, two which have recently been described in this
century (2003 and 2006) and two which have been around
since there description in 1917 and 1984 but not seen
very often in the hobby but popular with catfish aficionados
The four mentioned
are our factsheet of the
month (March 2017) Entomocorus
1917, Entomocorus melaphareus Akama & Ferraris,
2003 and Entomocorus radiosus Reis & Borges,
They are widely
distributed in lowland cis-Andean South America. Entomocorus
benjamini is found in the Madeira River, E.
gameroi occurs in the Orinoco River, E. melaphareus
is from the lower Amazon River, and a previously undescribed
species, E. radiosus, inhabits the upper Paraguay
River. Entomocorus is diagnosed based on the
shared presence of eight synapomorphies.
- head view
is related to the
genera Auchenipterus, Centromochlus, and Trachycorystes.
The common name of E. gameroi ofPenguin
relates to the markings on the caudal fin reminiscent
of the Penguin Tetra, Thayeria boehlkei although
the black band occurs in the top half of the caudal
fin in E. gameroi.
Woodcat, Penguin Woodcat
South America:Venezuela, Apure River basin in Orinoco River
drainage. Type locality: Boca del
Río Apurito en el Río Apuré,
cercade San Fernando de Apuré, Guárico
The top of the head is hard,
reticulated or pitted, and the posterior margin of
the occipital is bordered with a deep groove. The
maxillary barbels are wiry at the base, fitted into
a groove at the lower margin of the large eye, and
extend to the tips of the ventral fins or to the the
origin of the anal fin. E. gameroi has a
broad, nearly horizontal stripe of dark pigmentation
that extends from the base to the tip of the upper
lobe of the caudal fin. In addition, the lateral surfaces
of the body of E. melaphaereus and E.
benjamini has little, if any dark pigmentation,
whereas E. gameroi sometimes has irregular
blotches of dark pigmentation and, often a dark midlateral
Males develop increased dark
pigment along the lateral line and broadening of the
band in the lower lobe of the caudal fin (see Sexual
Care & Compatability
Provide sand or smooth gravel
as a substrate, driftwood and plants for hiding places.
Can be found sleeping on its side during the day in
plant coverage or on the substrate given the sometimes
common name of "Sleeping Catfish". Can be
kept with most fish that are not too small as this
family will predate on fry and small fishes at night
although generally a peaceful species. Better to keep
in a small group which will make them happier in an
In its natural habitat they
spawn in July and August which is the period of maximal
The dorsal fin
spine of the male becomes longer and curves anteriorly
slightly in the middle and distal part. The serrations
become irregular and new ones appear at the posterior
pectoral spines of the male become excessively elongate,
almost twice their former length, and become broader.
In the anal fin of the male there is a reduction of
the length of the base; the first three fusing into
a plate-like structure with strong surfaces for muscle
attachment; and the margin of the fin becomes concave
changing from convex in normal males). The second
ray of the males left pectoral fin develops a kind
of hook, and the second ray of the females right pectoral
fin develops some serrations. The bony part part of
the maxillary barbels of the male, normally almost
half their length, become excessively enlarged. These
barbels become transformed into two "cachos"
giving the male a distinctive aspect. A pseudopenis
is developed; it is short, made up of soft tissue,
and positionally separated from the anal (not functionally).
In other auchenipterterids it can be very large.
Not a fussy eater. Mosquito
larvae, artemia, flakefood, tablet and pellet foods.
Inactive during the day so would need feeding at night
but as aquarists know this family
will find food that has been left during daytime feedings.
The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin that lies
behind the anus, usually on the posterior half of the
fish. Caudal: The tail. Dorsal fin:The primary
rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Occipital process: A median bone
on the upper surface of the back of the head; pertaining
to the occiput. Pectoral fin:The
paired fins just behind the head. Ventral fins:
The paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal
Greek; entome, meaning notch, and kore, meaning pupil;
in reference to the deep groove at the lower margin
of the eye in which the maxillary barbels fit into.
H.A. and R. Riehl, 1991. Aquarien atlas.
Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur-und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 1104 p.
Burgess, W.E. 1989 An atlas of freshwater
and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the
Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City,
New Jersey (USA). 784 p. Reis, R.E. and T.A.K. Borges, 2006.
The South American catfish genus Entomocorus (Ostariophysi:
Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae), with the description
of a new species from the Paraguay River Basin. Copeia
2006(3):412-422. Yann Fulliquet. pers.comm.