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Harttia guianensis Rapp Py-Daniel & Olvieira, 2001

onfined to the coastal drainages of French Guiana and Suriname we present a not too often seen species in the hobby from the Harttia genus. Although there are another 21 species in this genera, only five are represented in this area. In French Guiana, H, fowleri (Pellegrin, 1908) H. guianensis Rapp Py-Daniel & Olvieira, 2001, and H. surinamensis Boeseman 1971. In Suriname, H. fluminensis Covain & Fisch-Muller, 2012, H. surinamensis Boeseman 1971 (again), Harttia tuna Covain & Fisch-Muller, 2012. and H. guianensis Rapp Py-Daniel & Olvieira, 2001 (again). In Suriname this species is only known from the Marowijne River.

Harttia guianensis

Harttia guianensis


The habitat of Harttia guianensis is confined to the main channel of rivers of the interior on rocky and and sandy substrates in fast flowing water. This species usually lives alongside Cteniloricaria platystoma.




Harttia guianensis - dorsal view


Harttia guianensis - dorsal view




Head depth, 2.3-3.3 times in SL; body depth 1.9-3.2 times in SL. Belly totally naked except for thoracic plates and a group of small irregular plates concentrated on the anus, just posterior to pelvic-fin insertion. Rictal barbels small, attached to lower lip by small membrane. Stomach indistinguishable; intestine very long, about 14 times in SL. Keeled lateral plates, 29-30.

Head and predorsal uniformly dark brown in larger individuals and marbled in young. Caudal fin with two small dark black blotches at tip of upper lobe and only one on tip of lower lobe; point of confluence of the lateral keels at 20-22nd. Dorsal fin with large black spot on its distal end. Other fins spotted except the anal fin.

Aquarium Care

Not the easiest genera to keep as they will need clean, oxygen rich water and a strong current. Does not do well in imports due to its difficulty in traveling containers.



Peaceful fish with other companions who like water movement in the aquaria. Better to keep this species in a small group if possible.

They lay their eggs on a flat surface and practise brood care. Feeding the fry consists of newly hatched Artemia nauplii, microeels, and fine dry foods or Spirulina tablets. Feeding was given 5 times daily. (Thomas Wiedner from Evers, H.-G. & I.Seidel: Mergus, Baensch Catfish Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005. Pp.944.)

Sexual differences
Males tend to have odontodes (hair like structures) on the first ray of the pectoral fins and the head in males is broader with also odontodes and the same structures on the keels of the lateral plates.


Dry foods, algae wafers, Spirulina and normal tablet foods. Frozen foods, Artemia nauplii, glass worms and Daphnia.

Glossary of Terms

SL.: Standard length as measured from the snout to the caudal peduncle.

Thoracic: Pertaining to the chest area.

Lateral: A sensory line, along the sides of the body.
Pelvic fins: The paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins. (also referred to as ventrals).
Rictal barbels: Pertaining to the barbels on the corners of the mouth.
Caudal fin: The tail.
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
Anal Fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior half of the fish.


guianensis: Named for French Guiana.



Rapp Py-Daniel, L.H. and E.C. Oliveira, 2001. Seven new species of Harttia from the Amazonian-Guyana region (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 12(1):79-96
Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 10/2015 )

Evers, H.-G. & I.Seidel: Mergus, Baensch Catfish Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005. Pp.944.
Mol, H.A. Jan
, The Freshwater Fishes of Suriname. BRILL, Leiden Boston, 2012. 889 p.

Photo Credits


Top: © Karsten Schönherr
Bottom: © Mark Sabaj Pérez @All Catfish Species Inventory

Factsheet 269

Common Name:


South America: Sinnamary and Approuague River basins. Type Locality: Approuague River, Saut Athanase, 4°11'N, 52°19'W, French Guiana.
17.5cm. (6¾ins)
25-30°c (77-87°f.)
6.0 -7.0.
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                                                                                                            Factsheet 269 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top