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Corydoras narcissus  Nijssen & Isbrucker, 1980

his months factsheet is a Corydoras arcuatus  look-a-like but as seen in the acompanying photograph it has a longer snout. It grows larger than arcuatus with a size of 7cm whereas the latter grows to 6cm. Not a very common cory in the U.K. and only appears sporadically in the retailers as most of the long-nose Corydoras seem to do.

Corydoras narcissus 


They are usually quite pricey when they do appear in the retail outlets stopping most aquarists from buying a few specimens, hence the lack of success of spawning them. But if you have spawned them please let me know so I can share it with the online community.

As with most of the longer nosed cory's, care must be taken regarding water quality as they don't seem to be as hardy as the normal short nosed varieties. They also like a good water movement in the aquarium, so an internal filter would be a good idea. Corydoras narcissus occurs sympatrically with C. arcuatus.

The original specimen was collected by Axelrod, Bleher, Bossche, Gery and Schwartz in a creek flowing into the Rio Ipixuna, 7°31'S, 63°16'W, 30 km west of Humaitá, Rio Purus system, Amazonas, Brazil.

Corydoras narcissus 

The etymology (The science that treats of the origin and history of words and modification of a particular word) of narcissus is for the Greek river god Kephissus who fell in love with his own reflection in the water in memory of those who collected undescribed species of Corydoras and suggested their own names for the scientific description. There is one man, who will not be named here, who I believe was the architect for this story.

Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Pectorals; 1/10. Two pairs of rictal barbels, one pair of mental barbels; rictal "flap" present. Medial border of pectoral fin spine strongly serrate. Intercoracoid area naked. Pectoral fin spine covered with thick mucous skin, embedding conspicuous odontodes. This my be an indication that the holotype is a nuptial male, since in some species with a strong secondary sexual dimorphism (Corydoras barbatus, C.macropterus, C.octocirrus) the pectoral fin spines of mature males show a similar cover

Ground colour of head and body whitish. Area dorso-posterier to eye with widely scattered black pigment, forming a conspicuous uneven stripe from the anterior edge of the nuchal plate to the posterior of the last dorso-lateral body scute.
The contour of this stripe is straight to below the adipose fin spine, after which it bends down and forms a vague concentration of pigment on the caudal peduncle. A thin black line is visible on the body below the dorsal fin spine. Widely scattered black pigment on the snout, obliquely running forward from the eye. Dorsal pair of rictal barbels greyish.
The two branched caudal fin rays, just dorsal to the lower principal unbranched ray are black coloured. A similar, though less intense pigmentation is present in the opposite lobe. Upper half of dorsal fin spine and adjacent branch of first dorsal fin ray with black pigment. Adipose fin with black pigment on posterior edge. Remaining fins clear.

As this is one of the longer snouted species it will be well suited to most community tanks. A well planted tank with a soft substrate such as sand so they can bury their snouts while searching out food.

There is a breeding report that the eggs are very tiny and are laid in two's around the tank and usually in the flow of an internal filter much like Corydoras aeneus. Temperature was quite high at 25c (77f) with a pH.of 7.8.


As per usual for the fry (if you are lucky enough to breed them.) with microworm, brine shrimp naupli and egglayer fry food after they have used up their yoksac.

Nijssen, H and Isbrücker, I. J. H. Three new Corydoras species from French Guiana and Brazil (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae) Netherlands Journal of Zoology 30(3); 494-503 (1980)

Photo Credits
 Top Picture:        Allan James ScotCat

Bottom Picture:
Julian Dignall @ Planet Catfish
Factsheet 007

Common Name:
Narcissus Cory
Brazil  Brazil: Rio Ipixuna on Paranapixuna, a tributary of the Rio Purus, 30km west of Humaita
7cm. (2¾ins)
23-25°c (72-77°f.)
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                                                                                                      Factsheet 07 = updated April 28, 2004 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top