he specific name of "maculatus"
is of course common and synonymous with the latin
interpretation meaning "spotted" and there
a few catfish species over the 36 or so families to
date that bare this specific epithet. This month we
are concentrating on a member of the Pimelodidae family,
namely Pimelodus maculatus.
species is not seen too often in the hobby which is
a shame as it is a very nice looking pim and they
also have a great variety of colour and spotted markings
in individual specimens. The one thing going against
them is its relatively large adult standard length
size of 36.0cm. (14ins) (although it may not grow
to this size in captivity) which would rule it out
of most aquarists who like this family considering
that most members of this genera prefer to be in groups,
so a large aquarium of 6' 0" x 2" x 2"
would need to be the norm although a lone specimen
can be kept in a smaller tank although you would not
see it very often as it will hide away without company
of its own kind.
- specimen caught near Carmen del Paraná, Paraguay
One of the identification
marks for this species, apart from the heavy spotting
on the body, is the shape of the adipose fin which
slopes down at the rear in line with the last ray
of the anal fin and close to the caudal peduncle.
It is also quite a deep bodied species (Grant, S.
Distrbution: Paraná and São Francisco River
basins. Type locality:
Le grand fleuve de la Plata, Buénos-Ayres,
ainsi qu’à la Encenada.
was first imported to Europe under the name of Pimelodus
clarias by Paul Nitsche to Berlin, Germany
in 1895. There are conflicting reports on the full
attainable adult size of this species in some literature
as from 15cm (6ins) SL to 36.0cm (14ins) SL, but
it is probably being confused with similar looking
spotted species so caution should be attained if
keeping in too small a tank for future growth.
Pimelodus clarias maculatus
Paraná and São Francisco River basins.
Type locality: Le grand fleuve de
la Plata, Buénos-Ayres, ainsi qu’à
36.0cm. SL. (14ins)
Deep body with a long based
adipose fin which slopes down at the rear in line
with the last ray of the anal fin and close to the
caudal peduncle. Three pairs of long slender barbels.
Short anal fin base. Strong pectoral and dorsal fin
spines with pectoral fin spine strongly serrated.
Rows of grey/brown spots
on a light brownish to ochre body colour. These
spots continue into the caudal fin, often smaller
when into adulthood.
Care & Compatibility
Quite a pretty looking member
of the Pimelodidae family which can grow quite large
for your average community tank so would need a tank
of at least 6' 0" (180cm) long if kept in a group.
Provide hiding places for this 'pim' and you will
be able to see it on the odd occasions when food is
introduced. Peaceful species but not to be trusted
with small fish such as tetras as they will pick them
of at night on their forays so they must be kept with
species that are two thirds of its size or larger.
It is compatible with barbs, gouramis, cichlids and
other South American catfish. One must lookout for
the serrated pectorals which can cause injury if handled
carelessly. A glass container would be best if you
have to move this species instead of a net.
Not reported but
it is a migratory species which tells us that they
may spawn in their chosen spawning grounds between
the months of July to November in low waters.
Not reported but
females may grow larger and more rotund, especially
in the breeding season.
In their natural habitat the
analysis shows that the main food item for fish in
the smaller size classes is aquatic insects, while
the largest individuals feed mainly on other fish.
In the aquarium most aquarium fare such as tablet,
flake, worm and frozen foods would suffice.
Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the
rayed dorsal fin. Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on
the posterior half of the fish. Barbels: Whisker-like structure on
the heads of most catfish. Caudal fin: The tail. Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head.
H.A. and R. Riehl
1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für
Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216
p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Grant, Steven. 2021. Pims. Pimelodidae,
Heptapteridae and Pseudopimelodidae Catfishes. ATS-Aquashop.de
2021 219p. Lima-Junior, S.E., Goitein, R. Ontogenetic
Diet Shifts of a Neotropical Catfish, Pimelodus maculatus
(Siluriformes, Pimelodidae): An Ecomorphological Approach.
Environmental Biology of Fishes 68, 73–79 (2003).
Sands, David. Catfishes of the World,
Vol 3 Auchenipteridae & Pimelodidae, Dunure Publications
1984. Sands, David. Back to Nature Guide
to Catfishes. Fohrman Aquaristik AB 1997. 128p.