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Pareutropius buffei  (Gras, 1961)

egular visitors to ScotCat and of my monthly factsheet series will probably surmise that I like a mystery or two and this months (Nov.2000) offering is no different, so hold on for another bumpy ride!.

Pareutropius buffei

This member of the Schilbeidae family of glass catfishes has a rather mysterious past as far as the aquatic hobby is concerned.The fish we now know as P.buffei was thought not  too long ago to be Eutropiellus debauwi and the common name given to it was the “Debauwi Cat” and this fish, buffei that is, is still labeled with this common name in the  aquatic trade. At one time we knew the two fish as Eutropiellus buffei/debauwi but the genus name of Pareutropius has now been given to these two African Glass Cats. 

Below I have included line drawings of the two species for identification. Nine times out of ten you will have buffei as P.debauwi is rarely imported from the wild.

Pareutropius buffei

    Pareutropius buffei.

Pareutropius debauwi

Pareutropius debauwi.

has this second body stripe missing and a more pointed caudal fin but not such a big difference as the two drawings show. I also find that it is not such a colourful fish as buffei.

You will also notice that P. buffei has a blotch on each caudal fin whereas P.debauwi has not and a dark edge shows to the adipose fin of P. debauwi.

Now after all that mystery how do we keep this Glass Catfish. You will need to purchase at least 6 of this species as they are a schooling fish and need their own company. If you only buy one or two they will hide and waste away, but apart from that they are easy to keep and seem to live for a considerable length of time if given a spacious tank with a good water current and the undertaking of water changes when needed.

Pareutropius buffei

  Pareutropius buffei
Pareutropius debauwi

Pareutropius debauwi

As mentioned earlier they are a schooling species and they swim mid to low water, head up and moving their caudal fin back and forward. They are not timid when feeding time comes around as they love their food and if you ever want to catch this fish to show at a fish show this is the ideal time to catch them as their minds are very occupied when it comes to lunch. In saying that they are not a very good show fish as they tend to sulk in a show tank and don't show themselves of to the best of their ability.

Small dorsal fin and long anal fin. Compressed body. Two midlateral body stripes, the lower one reaching the insertion of the anal fin. Two blotches on caudal fin.

Body colour sivery. A dark grey/brown line along the back from snout to caudal base. A dark grey/black broad stripe extends along the lateral line continueing through to posterier edge of caudal fin. A second oblique dark stripe extends from the posterior edge of caudal fin. A second oblique dark stripe extends from the posterior border of the operculum to above the vent. A dark, sometimes elongate spot on the upper and lower lobes of the caudal fin. Base of anal fin marked with a thin dark line. The three pairs of barbels are colourless and difficult to see.

Easy fish to keep in a shoal with non-aggressive species.

Sexual differences
The females of this species are usually a little bit plumper than the males. 

Has been bred, but only occasionally. They scatter their eggs of up to 100 amongst the plants. Remove the parents as they will eat the eggs. The eggs will hatch in three days and when they have used up their yolk sac you can feed brine shrimp and micro worm. They are a fast growing species.

In my experience thay will eat anything but they do love frozen bloodworm and any live food such as Daphnia and Cyclops. Feed also a good quality flake food.

Pareutropius : Para = beside; eutropia = well-fed.

Glossary of Terms:
Operculum : The bony covering of the gills of fishes.

Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Catfish Study Group Information Sheet 20.

Photo Credits
    ©  Hippocampus Bildarchiv
Factsheet 053

Eutropiellus buffei, Eutropius buffei, Eutropiellus vandeweyeri     
Common Name:
3-stripe glass catfish
Africa: lower course of the Ouémé (Benin), the Ogun (Nigeria) and the Niger
7.5cm. (3ins)
24-27°C (75-81°F)    
up to 18dGH
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