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Tenellus leporhinus  (Eigenmann, 1912) 

ur factsheet for the month of May 2012
centres on a species from the family Doradidae which is beginning to make its way back into the hobby in the U.K. after a few missing years. In the 1980s and 90s this species was known as Opsodoras leporhinus but now it is treated as a synonym on the differences on the make-up of the maxillary barbels and the groove in the fontanel not being continuous

Nemadoras leporhinus


This dorad is best kept in groups as they will not do well singularly. Avoid boisterous or aggressive tank mates as this is a shy species that will hide out during the day and appear for food at night under darkness. Provide a dimly lit tank with floating plants. This is not an easy species to keep so you would need to keep up water changes and good aquarium husbandry as they can be prone to whitespot infections.




Nemadoras leporhinus above and Hemidoras sp. below (probably stenopeltis)


N. leporhinus at the top and a Hemidoras sp. below (probably stenopeltis)


Nemadoras and Hemidoras species are quite alike but the main differences are that Nemadoras has a shorter snout and smaller bony scutes.


There are at the moment five described species of Nemadoras, our factsheet of the month plus N. elongatus (Boulenger, 1898), N. hemipeltis (Eigenmann, 1925), N. humeralis (Kner, 1855), and N. trimaculatus (Boulenger, 1898) all ranging from 10 to 14cm SL.


Update: August 2015. Nemadoras leporhinus is now Tenellus leporhinus due to the paper by Birindelli (2014). The new genus also includes, Nemadoras trimaculatus, N. leporhinus, N. ternetzi and the new species N. christinae.


Feathered maxillary barbels. Very large eyes.


Background body colour silver grey with two blue/black horizontal stripes just above and below lateral line which starts just behind the operculum and runs through into the caudal. Another stripe begins at the front edge of the dorsal and ends at the adipose fin.

A peaceful species that would be better kept with non aggresive tankmates such as Characins, livebearers, Corydoras and smaller members of the Loricariidae family such as the various Hemiloricaria and Rineloricaria species.

As yet unknown.

Sexual differences

There are no proven external sexual differences.



Tubifex, Daphnia, Cyclops. Once settled in they will take frozen foods, flake and tablet foods


Nemadoras: Greek, nema, -atos = filament + Greek, dora = skin


Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Burgess, 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.
Birindelli, J. L. O. 2014 (16 Sept.) Phylogenetic relationships of the South American Doradoidea (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes). Neotropical Ichthyology v. 12 (no. 3): 451-563 [1-102].


Glossary of Terms

Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels).

Fontanel: The space(s) between the bones on top of the skull covered by skin.
Scutes: Bony covering.
Operculum: The bony covering of the gills of fishes.

Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.

Caudal fin: The tail.

Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.

Photo Credits

  ©  Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library

Factsheet 191

Hemidoras leporhinus, Opsodoras leporhinus, Nemadoras leporhinus
Common Name:
Mouse catfish
Doradidae m
South America; Orinoco, Branco and Essequibo River basin
10cm. (4ins)
22-25°C (72-77°F)
6.5 - 7.0.
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                                                                                                                                            Factsheet 191 = updated December, 2009 © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top