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Orinocodoras eigenmanni  (Myers, 1927)  

he common name for this Dorad catfish is the “Long-nosed Raphael Catfish” to differentiate it from the similar looking “Raphael Catfish” Platydoras armulatus (previously known as P.costatus). The genus Orinocodoras is Monotypic (containing only one species). In the U.K. the common name for P.armulatus is usually “Humbug” or “Chocolate Talking Catfish” pertaining to them being able to create a sound by grating their fin bones in each socket and amplifying the noise via the swim bladder, this also applies to O.eigenmanni.

Orinocodoras eigenmanni 

This fish is probably imported alongside P. armulatus, for if you look into a tank of the latter in any shop you will usually find one or two 0. eigenmanni there. They are quite easy to spot with experience, as O. eigenmanni, as the common  name suggests, has a longer nose, plus the scutes that adorn the sides of the body are smaller, and I find that it is usually a bit darker in colouration than P. armulatus. This is a very nocturnal catfish, so give it plenty of hiding places such as pipes or rockwork and you will get the added bonus of seeing it on the odd occasion.

As can be seen in the photograph this can be a very impressive looking catfish when adult and in common with P. armulatus it can get quite heavy in the body.



Orinocodoras eigenmanni  - showing scutes

Orinocodoras eigenmanni 
- showing scutes

The picture above shows the impressive scutes that adorn both sides of its body.


Body; 29 lateral scutes, all fairly even in size. The plates are all small leaving much of the sides of the body naked.
Dorsal Spine; Serrated on both anterior and posterior edges.
Fontanel; Continued as a groove to the base of the dorsal fin.
Adipose; Continued forward very slightly into a keel.
Caudal Peduncle; Covered with caudal fulcra above and below.

Body black with a creamy white lateral stripe from the eye, running along the lateral plates and faintly continuing through the caudal fin. Underside of head and coracoid, white to cream. Belly is darkly mottled. Dorsal lightish mottled, the first soft ray and membrane blackish. Leading edge of the dorsal spine light.

This is quite a peaceful catfish in a aquarium with similar sized tankmates, but I wouldn't advise keeping them with small characins, such as neon's, as this fish foraging at night would view them as lunch!, but apart from that a good addition to a tank instead of the more common P. armulatus.

Not recorded.

Will eat anything hence the body shape it attains. You could also feed tablet food at lights out, just to make sure that it is getting its fair share. If you feed your usual fare to your aquarium inhabitants you will usually find a very large and fat O. eigenmanni the odd times that you do view it.

Orinocodoras: From the Orinoco River; doras = cuirass ( helmeted)
: In honour of Dr.Carl H.Eigenmann, Professor of Ichthyology in Indiana. ( 1863-1927.) 

Glossary of Terms
Fontanel - The space(s) between the bones on top of the skull covered by skin.
Caudal Peduncle - The area between the dorsal fin and the tail.

Northern Area Catfish Group; Information sheet 08

Photo Credits
Top Picture:       Allan James @ ScotCat 
Bottom Picture: Billy Grant

Factsheet 017


Common Name:
Long-nosed Raphael Catfish
South America: Orinoco River basin: Venezuela. Type locality: Venezuela: Caño de Quiribana near Caicara.
17.5cm (7ins)
23-26ºC (73-79ºF)
6.0 - 7.0
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                                                                                                 Factsheet 17 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top