first factsheet of 2005 takes us back to the South
American continent and to a member of the Auchenipteridae
family which was
discovered 164 years ago in Brazil by R. H. Schomburgk
in 1841, and this beautiful catfish has had a checkered
history ever since.
it Arius oncinus after the species name of
the Jaguar Cat (Panthera onca) due to its
body pattern resembling this cat of the South American
rain forests. In 1940, Fowler described a new species
morrowi, and placed
it in the Doradidae family even although it did not
have the bony scutes that this family possess, but
it had the spiny humeral process of this family.
Onwards to 1978
and an article with illustrations appeared in the
TFH magazine by Martin Brittan and it alerted the
Ichthyologist, Mees, who subsequently published a
paper on this catfish. Mees noted that the fish in
the article, which was mooted as a Centromochlus
species, looked very like the original description
by Schomburgk. He obtained specimens form Brittan
and also the type specimen of L. morrowi
and concluded, incorrectly, that they were one and
the same fish and placed it in the Doradidae family.
It was not until 1994 that these two species were
considered as separate and they were placed in the
depicting the original colour plate of
This is indeed a beautifully
marked catfish but in the aquarium you may not see
too much of its beauty as it can be crepuscular in
nature and will need hiding places to make it feel
more secure and happy in its surroundings.
is Liosomadorus morrowi, the Black Jaguar
Catfish. I was given this fish by a friend who had
bought it as a Jaguar Cat and did not know what it
was. You may find the common name of the Black Jaguar
Catfish misleading from this picture, but this photo
was taken on the show bench and it had lost the dark
markings that you will find when it is settled in
your tank set up. The parameters given for L.
oncinus will be the same for L. morrowi.
Negro and Branco River basins. Type locality:
short and compact
with a compressed caudal peduncle. Head, large and
broad, its width at the clavicles greater than its
length. The long humeral extension has small spines
and the barbels are thin and filamentous without branches.
Dorsal spine has teeth on anterior and posterior edges.
Pectoral spines have outer and inner margins strongly
denticulated. Adipose fin is the same length as the
anal fin, ventral fins short and positioned nearer
the anal fin than the pectoral fin base. Caudal fin
Yellow blotches on a brown
body bordered on each side of the distinct lateral
line. Fins spotted.
Care & Compatibility
Can be kept in a community
tank but may eat very small fish at night such as
the fry of livebearers, but basically a good addition
to the larger tank set up.
There are no known
reported aquarium spawning's of this catfish but can
be sexed due to the thickening of the anterior of
the anal fin, as is the norm in this family, akin
to the anal fins of the males of the Goodiae family
Will take most prepared foods
such as frozen bloodworm, tablet and flake food. Better
to feed at night after lights out, but once settled
in tank will forage for food in low light conditions.
From the Greek leios, meaning smooth; soma; meaning
body and Doras (a genus of doradid catfishes); in
reference to the lack of bony plates on the body (when
the genus was described as a doradid). oncinus: Named after the
Jaguar cat, Panthera onca, because of its
W.E., 1989 An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine
catfishes: a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes.
T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey.
Finley, Lee.Catfish Corner,
The Jaguar Catfish, Tropical Fish Hobbyist;