Your internet guide to
all things catfish

Rama chandramara  (Hamilton, 1822)

hen you think of the members of the Bagridae family your mind wanders to the big and nasty boys like Hemibagrus wyckii and Hemibagrus wyckioides, but there are a few inconspicuous species, and one we are covering this month (October 2007) is a pretty little Bagrid which some of you may remember as Chandramara chandramara, as this species in 2001 has had the new genus name Rama erected to cover this Monotypic species.

Rama chandramara


The history of this species has been much confused with Jayaram in 1981 and Mo in 1991 relating this species to a synonym of Batasio but in 2001 Ng & Kottelat segregated Rama as a distinct genus. The adipose fin in Rama is much smaller than in any species of Batasio and oar-like (a character independently shared with Neotropius and schilbeids), and the genus is further diagnosed by the presence of a prominent anterolateral process of the pelvic girdle (absent in all Batasio species), and fewer vertebrae (32–34 v. at least 35). In India the common name for this species is the 'Asian Cory' probably pointing to the steep head, to the insertion of the dorsal fin, which is reminicent of the Corydoras genus of South America.

Depending on the substrate Rama chandramara will sport different colour patterns as you can see from the two images: the above on a dark base and below on a sand base. In its own environment it inhabits, ditches, streams and canals.


Rama chandramara


This is not the easiest species to keep in the aquarium and can prove delicate. Good water quality is a must to be able to enjoy this small Bagrid to the full. Tank decorations would be a planted aquarium with hiding places to make it feel more comfortable in its surroundings. Will be happier if you can keep them in groups of at least four as they will do better in their own company.


Body short, compressed, abdomen rounded. Head small, compressed. Snout obtusely rounded. Mouth subterminal, moderately wide. Eyes large, inferior (visible from below ventral surface of the head). Jaws subequal. Lips thin, plain, may be fimbriated or with sensory pores. Teeth on jaws and palate in broad villiform bands. Four pairs of barbels; one each of maxillary, nasal and two of mandibular, all slender, shorter than head, may be coloured. Caudal fin forked, lobes equal. Lateral line complete, with a few pores above pectoral fin base.

Yellowish body speckled with dark to light brown spots. Broad dark brown lateral line with two other thiner lines above and below. All fins hyaline with dark first hard rays.

Like the South American Corydoras they are also peaceful and and would do fine in a community aquarium with smaller compatriots such as small Tetras and Rasboras.

Not reported.

Sexual differences
Females are heavier looking and the males are more slender and have an elongate genital papilla in front of the anus.

They do prefer live food such as white worm and tubifex but will also accept frozen food such as bloodworm.

Glossary of Terms
Monotypic: Having only one species, such as a monotypic family of fishes.
Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
Anterolateral: Pertaining to the direction or position between the front and side of an object.

Ramachandra is a legendary king of ancient India. In Hinduism, he is considered to be the seventh Avatar of Vishnu.

Jayaram, K.C., The Fresh Water Fishes of the Indian Region. Narendra Publishing House, 1999.
Ng, H. H., The identity of Batasio tengana (Hamilton, 1822), with the description of two new species of Batasio from north-eastern India (Teleostei: Bagridae)

Photo Credits

Top:        Allan James @ ScotCat

Bottom:  Adrian Taylor
Factsheet 136

Pimelodus chandramara, Rama rama, Pimelodus rama, Leiocassis rama, Chandramara chandramara
Common Name:
Hummingbird Catfish, Asian Cory
Bangladesh Bangladesh India India
5.5cm. (2¼ins)
18-22°C (63-71°F)   
6.5 -7.2.
If you found this page helpful you can help keep ScotCat running by making a small donation, Thanks. 

Donate towards my web hosting bill!


Print Friendly and PDF















































                                                                                                       Factsheet 136 = updated December 15, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top