ur factsheet of the month for June 2002, Scleromystax
is now becoming quite rare in exports due to deforestation
and heavy pollution of their habitats, and as such
would need to be cherished if lucky enough to acquire
this member of the Corydoradinae subfamily. Males
develop an extended dorsal fin (seen below image)
and pectoral spines and sexually mature males sport
bristles on the cheeks. In some cases imports of juveniles
never develop the long finnage of the males (Fuller
2005). You can see similar markings as in Corydoras
pair male to the rear
Britto in 2003
revalidated the genus Scleromystax and put
it together with the genus Aspidoras into
the tribe Aspidoradini within the subfamily Corydoradinae
(Fuller 2005). As
with all Scleromystax species they will fare
better in cooler temperatures. The genus Scleromystax
belongs to lineage 3 and if there was a revision carried
out on the Corydoradinae in the future they would
remain so, with the designated type species S.
barbatus (Günther, 1864).
species are found only in the southern parts of Brazil
namely in the rainforest of the Mata Atlantica and
along the eastern and southeastern coast of the states
of Bahia, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São
Paulo, Parana and Santa Catarina.
rivers of Brazil from São Paulo to Santa
Catarina States, and some tributaries of the
upper Paraná River. Type
Brazil; Paraná, Paranaguá (25°32’S,
can be problematic when
introduced to a new aquarium as they can be
sensitive to new surroundings. Better to feed
first with live foods until settled in.
bertoni, Corydoras macropterus
rivers of Brazil from São Paulo to Santa Catarina
States, and some tributaries of the upper Paraná
River. Type Locality: Brazil; Paraná,
Paranaguá (25°32’S, 48°36’W).
Male: 6.5cm (2½ins)
Female: 7.0cm (2¾ins)
Head elongated with a short
Body grey, to brown or beige.
All fins are colourless and transparent. Individual
fin rays are banded brown and white forming five to
six transverse bands in the caudal fin. A dark band
runs from the head, along the middle of the body,
to the base of the caudal fin. It may be broken in
places. Above and below this may be large patches
of varying sizes and positions. The head region has
spots which may be joined to form 'worm like' lines.
Care & Compatibility
Sometimes the males ofScleromystax species can get aggressive
to other males so maybe one male to a group may be
the best way to go if there are conflicts in the aquarium.
As with most members of the Callichthyidaethey are peaceful. The Scleromystax
genera are good additions to "cool water"
aquarium set ups with maybe other cool water fish
such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows and other fish
that are comfortable with a temperature around the
70°f (21.5°c) mark. Keep them on a sand substrate
as you would with most of the Corydoradinae.
No bred very often
but as per this genus. Articles on the breeding of
this family can be found in the breeding articles
The dorsal fin
can be extended in male specimens and also the pectoral
fins. Males have bristles on the preoperculum as in
As with other members of the
Corydoradinae they relish tablet and good quality
flake food with frozen bloodworm a firm favourite.
They are also keen on chopped earthworms and other
worm foods such as white worm used sparingly, and
grindal worm. Provide a varied diet.
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. Preoperculum: The anterior bone of
the opercular series, forming the border of the cheek. Snout: The part of the head in front
of the eyes.
From the Greek "sclero" meaning hard and
the Latin "mystax" meaning moustache. macropterus:
Large wing, (referring to the fins).
& Taylor, Martin.
(2011). Evolution, ecology and taxonomy of the Corydoradinae
Burgess, W.E., 1992. Colored atlas of miniature
catfish. Every species of Corydoras, Brochis and
Aspidoras. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., USA. 224 p.
Ian A. M. Fuller & Hans-Georg Evers (2011).
Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish Supplement 1.
Ian Fuller Enterprises. Reis, R.E. 2003 Callichthyidae
(Armored catfishes). p. 291-309. In: R.E. Reis,
S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist
of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America.
Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. Seus, Werner, Corydoras. The most
popular armoured catfishes of South America. Dähne
Verlag, Ettlingen GmbH. 1993 218p.