have finely reached the 300 factsheets mark on ScotCat
from over the last 24 years (1997 to 2021), and so
on to the 300th factsheet for June 2021 which takes
us to the popular Loricariidae family and a look at
one of the largest whiptails around, namely the Giant
Whiptail Catfish or Broadhead whiptail, Pseudohemiodon
laticeps. The specific name of laticeps
actually translates to "broad head".
laticeps is found in the
Uruguay, Paraná and Paraguay River basins with
the type locality being Paraguay. The specimens which
come from northern Brazil are said to be Pseudohemiodon
and the species which have been bred as P. laticeps
are probably P.
instead (Evers, H.-G. & I. Seidel 2005).
- Head view with sand particles on head
has a very unusual mouth with fringed lips as can
be seen on the upper image. The male carries the yellow
eggs in this structure (abdomino-lip brooders).
Distrbution:The Paraná Basin stretches
from the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso in the north
to northern Argentina and Uruguay in the south. The
southern portion in Uruguay is locally known as Norte
Basin. Type locality:
Giant Whiptail Catfish, Broadhead
Uruguay, Paraná and Paraguay River basins.
Type locality: Paraguay.
Head large and triangular with
a broad head with mouth and lip barbels. The body
is strongly depressed and covered with bony plates.
Maxillary barbels conspicuous, reaching gill opening.
The lips are heavily fringed, but the lower surface
of the head is naked. The upper caudal lobe is extended
into a long filament. The pelvic fins are used mainly
for locomotion on sand.
The body is light tan in
colour with the head and body covered with small,
dark spots that form radiating lines on the body.
Care & Compatibility
Requires a large aquarium with
a big surface area and a sand substrate. If specimens
are imported from southeastern Brazil or Paraguay
they will prefer cooler temperatures in the aquarium.
Provide a good water flow in the aquarium. Provide
some shaded areas for this species as they don't like
a brightly lit aquarium. Will eat small bottom living
fishes and fry but are fine with species that are
on the mid to upper layers of the aquarium.
The male carries
the yellow eggs in this structure (abdomino-lip brooders).
After approximately 12-14 days the larvae hatch with
a huge yolk sac. It is absorbed over the next two
days and the young can be fed Artemia nauplii
preferably in a dedicated aquarium. Keep the oxygen
levels high as losses can occur if this is not adhered
Mature males will
develop their lower lips to allow them to carry their
eggs (abdomino-lip brooders). Out with the breeding
season the sexual differences are not apparent but
males may be smaller than the females.
Algae wafers, sinking tablet
and frozen foods such as bloodworm and shrimp.
Caudal:The tail. Gills: The organs utilised to obtain
oxygen from the water. Maxillary Barbels: Pertaining to
the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Pelvic fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins. (also referred to
as ventrals). Yolk sac: In embryos and early fish
larvae, a bag-like ventral extension of the gut containing
H.-G. & I.Seidel: Mergus, Baensch Catfish
Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005. Pp.944. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
1418:1-628. Sandford, Gina & Crow, Richard:
The Interpet Manual of Tank Busters: An introduction
to keeping and displaying large and impressive fish
in the aquarium. 160p Hardcover. 1996. Sleen, van der Peter and Albert, S. James;
Field guide of the Amazon, Orinoco & Guianas.
Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.