month (Feb.2007) we cover a family that I have included
for the first time on the monthly factsheet series.
namely Amblycipitidae, a family of loach shaped catfishes
from Southern Asia, China, Taiwan and Japan. We concentrate
for the first time on the species, Liobagrus marginatus.
As you can see
on the above image the strange bulbous head that this
species and others from the genus adorn and also the
continuous adipose fin and caudal. Quite a peculiar
looking catfish to say the least :-)
The image below
shows the well developed barbel arangement of Liobagrus
marginatus - barbels view
There are three
genera, Amblyceps, Liobagrus and Xiurenbagrus
but the first two are the species we tend to see although
they are still pretty rare in the trade. The differences
are Amblyceps: Nostrils
close together; cup-like depresion below opercular
flap present. Liobagrus:
Nostrils far apart; no cup-like depresion below opercular
This family are
closely related to the Bagridae family and are reported
to be able to live out of the water for a period of
who discovered this species, Albert Günther,
was born in Esslingen in Swabia (Germany) in the year
1830 and died at the age of 84 at the outbreak of
the First World War in 1914. He studied theology in
Bonn and Berlin and later studied medicine in Tübingen.
He went to the British Museum in 1856, where he worked
on ichthyology. Following the death of John Edward
Gray in 1875 he was made director of the zoology department
of the Natural History Museum in London, remaining
so until 1895. Apart from fishes, he also worked on
the reptiles and amphibians in the Museum collection.
River (Yangtze River), Szechwan.
Click this thumbnail
map for locations.
Dorsal fin short with a week
concealed spine. Anal fin short with about 9-18 rays.
Pelvic fins have 6-7 rays. Gill openings wide and
the gill membranes are free from the isthmus. Nostrils
far apart; no cup-like depression below opercular
flap. Adipose fin long, low and keel-like, and
continuous with rounded or truncate caudal fin. 4
pairs of barbels.
Body brown/olive overlaid
with lighter speckling. Fins Golden brown. Barbels
Care & Compatibility
Would certainly need water
movement in the aquarium as they come from fast moving
streams in their natural habitat. Hiding places should
also be introduced for their well being and to make
them feel more secure in their surroundings.
In their normal habitat they
will greedingly feed on aquatic insects and insect
larvae. In the aquarium Daphnia, frozen and live.
Also frozen foods such as bloodworm and cyclops.
fleshy throat region of a fish which extends forward
from the ventral part of the chest and narrows anteriorly,
and externally separating the two gill chambers; that
narrowed portion of the breast which lies between the
gill chambers and separates them. Opercular: Pertaining to the operculum;
gill cover. Often used for the opercle.
leio = smooth + Mozarabic bagre, Greek, pagros = a
kind of fish. marginatus:
Margined, referring to
white margins on all fins.
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. Encyclopædia Britannica
Online. 1 Feb.
2007 "Huang Ho." Online Map/Still.
Sands, David., 1985 Catfishes of The
World, Volume 5 Bagridae & Others. Dee Bee Books,
116 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, Nr.Preston, Lancs. Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia;
C. L. G. Günther