here are now as of January
2019, 24 species of Microglanis from the
Pseudopimelodidae family, the last two named in 2016,
nigrolineatus and Microglanis
xerente. We concentrate this month on a species
well known in the hobby but only now becoming more
readily available, the Dwarf marbled catfish, Microglanis
The most common
Microglanis species that you will encounter
will be M.
iheringi which is exported
more often than our factsheet of the month due to
the accessibility of each species. In the last few
years more aquarists are collecting in the rivers
of French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana and so this
catfish is becoming more readily available to the
hobbyist although it is still a rare species to be
seen in your local fish shop.
There can be confusion
between another three species of the same genera,
Microglanis iheringi, M. secundus
and M. parahybae. There are diferences in
colour patterns, especially on the caudal peduncle
and caudal fin areas.
- caudal view
The line drawings
below may help you to identify your Microglanis
but being able to see your species in your tank to
do this is another matter entirely as they are very
secretive as you can go months without spotting them,
unless you can view them with the lights out at night
when they come out for their forays.
To sum up, a very
nice looking pim, while being very nocturnal, but
being able to see them on the odd occasion makes up
for the weeks that you thought you had lost it, and
so a nice addition to a medium sized community tank.
It would be better to purchase a few of this species
instead of a single individual as they will be happier
in some publications the Standard Length is documented
South America: Essequibo River basin and rivers of French Guiana.
Type locality: Below Packeoo Falls, British
dental plate with rounded lateral margin.
The caudal fin is somewhat variable,
usually scalloped with rounded (or at least not very
sharp) lobes, the upper one the larger.
Lateral line not complete. Maxillary
teeth without backward projection. Pectoral fin with
i,5 rays; tip of pectoral spine pointed.
Dark brown markings on a
light brown background. The pale band across the
nape is irregular, running zigzag and in a few specimens
it is actually interrupted, the dark area on the
head and predorsal region being in contact across
it. The dark area below the dorsal fin is a peculiar
four cornered shape when the fish is viewed from
above. A dark area on the adipose fin and just below,
with a light patch at the origin of the adipose
fin. The dark band across the caudal peduncle is
always more or less triangular in shape. The dark
markings on the body are enhanced by the fact that
just around them the background is paler than elsewhere
on the body, almost white instead of light brown.
Dorsal fin with a dark bar about one third halfway
up, caudal fin with a dark vertical bar about one
third from end, all the fins are minutely spotted.
Care & Compatibility
A good addition to the medium
sized community tank, and will not harm the occupants
unless they are small enough to fit into its mouth
such as newly born fry and young fish. If you keep
livebearers such as Guppies and Platies in with them
you will very rarely be overrun with fry as the Dwarf
marbled catfish will promptly finish them off on its
night time prowls. Hiding places such as rockwork,
plants and or wood will benefit this species and help,
along with regular water changes, to keep it happy
in its surroundings.
Not recorded but
there is a report on the breeding of Microglanis
iheringi on the factsheet
of April 2004.
Males are slimmer than females.
Can be fed a varied diet of
tablet food, pellets, worm foods and frozen food such
fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays,
behind the rayed dorsal fin. Caudal fin: The tail.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached.
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top
of the body. Lateral line:A sensory
line, along the sides of the body. Maxillary teeth: Pertaining to the
upper jaw. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head.
Micro = small; glanis = catfish. poecilus: From the Greek, poikilos
= variecoloured, pied, mottled, spotted.
- Own work using Digital Chart of the World and GTOPO
data., CC BY-SA 3.0. Catfish Association of Great Britain:
Information Book 4. 1978. 23p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Mol, H.A. Jan, The Freshwater Fishes
of Suriname. BRILL, Leiden Boston, 2012. 889 p. Sleen, van der Peter and Albert, S. James;
Field guide of the Amazon, Orinoco & Guianas.
Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.