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Rhinodoras dorbignyi  (Kner, 1855)

he first month of 2012 heralds us a look at a member of the Doradidae family "The Fog Doradid". This is one of the nicest looking dorad cats around and is conspicuous by its long snout and banded body pattern.


Rhinodoras dorbignyi


Provide a good sized tank that will be 4ft (120cm) or above as they can be a quick growing catfish. A soft substrate such as sand will be better as sharp gravel can be detrimental to the fishes barbels and its health. Prefers the water to be on the soft side. Provide plenty of cover for them in the shape of pipework and caves as they are a very nocturnal catfish. You can also have hardy plants in the tank



Rhinodoras dorbignyi = head view



Above is the view of the head showing the Humeral process extending to the last one-fourth of the pectoral fin. and the short maxillary barbels. It is prone to leaning on to aquarium heaters so covering them would be a good idea.


Where their was only this species in the genera (monotypic) there are now a further 4 species named; Rhinodoras armbrusteri Sabaj Pérez, 2008, Rhinodoras boehlkei Glodek, Whitmire & Orcés V., 1976, Rhinodoras gallagheri Sabaj Pérez, Taphorn & Castillo G., 2008 and Rhinodoras thomersoni Taphorn & Lilyestrom, 1984.


Fishbase has this species size as 50cm. TL and other publications at 17.5cm. SL so there is a discrepancy on the adult size of this dorad.





Head as long as it is wide or slightly longer. Fontanel is continued as an obscure groove to the dorsal fin. Eyes moderate and located in the middle of head. Preorbital plates are obscure. Maxillary barbels not extending as far as the gill openings. Humeral process extends to the last one-fourth of the pectoral fin. The adipose fin is prolonged forward as a keel. The dorsal fin is strongly serrate, the serrae stronger on the posterior margin and directed downward. The lateral scutes which number about 29-30 are low and the caudal peduncle is covered with modified fulcra above and below. Caudal fin is forked.


Variable ranging from near completely black or brown body bands according to the substrate. Dark spots to the dorsal and caudal fins.


This species of Dorad is like most of this family, very peaceful, but as adults can prey on very small fish or fry on the substrate at night so it is better to house with species that cannot be eaten.

Not reported.

Sexual Diferences

Not known.



As they can be very nocturnal they can be be best fed at lights out with tablet foods and frozen foods such as bloodworms. If left to their own devices they will actively seek out food remains during the night.


Rhinodoras: Greek, rhinos = nose + Greek, dora = skin


Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Burgess, W.E. 1989 An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.


Pectoral fin: The paired fins after head and before anal fin.

Caudal fin: The tail.
Caudal peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin and the tail.
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.

: Saw-like notches along an edge.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Humeral process: Bony extension of the pectoral girdle.
Scutes: Bony covering.
Fontanel: The space(s) between the bones on top of the skull covered by skin.
Preorbital: The first and usually the largest of the suborbital bones; located along the ventro-anterior rim of the eye. Sometimes called the lacrimal bone; the bone or region before and below the eye.

Photo Credits
Images: © Danny Blundell @ The Danny Blundell Photo Gallery
Factsheet 187


Doras dorbignyi, D.nebulosus, Oxydoras dorbignyi 
Common Name:
Fog Doradid
South America: Paraná River basin: Brazil, Paraguay
17.5cm. (7ins)
20-25°C (67-77°F)
6.5 - 7.0.
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                                                                                                                                  Factsheet 187 = updated December 15, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top