Your internet guide to
all things catfish

Scleromystax prionotos  (Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1980)

e return this month (March 2008) to a member of the Corydoradinae subfamily, a sort of Corydoras if you like.
It was 4 years ago in 2004 when the genus Scleromystax was resurrected by taxonomists for the Southern Brazilian species that sported cheek bristles in the males, during an ongoing study of Corydoras, Aspidoras and Brochis.


Scleromystax prionotos

This is quite a nice looking species in its own right, may be not as flamboyant as its cousin S.barbatus, but none the less quite distinctive in its dress of a metallic blue lateral band on the body. The males are also not aggressive like S.barbatus males and can be kept in smaller tanks.

As this is a Southern Brazilian species it needs cooler waters and a point in question was when I moved 7 of a mixed juvenile/adult batch from my main fishhouse room from a temperature of 76°F ( 24°C) to a newly built rack in a cooler area of the fishhouse which had a water temperature of 70°F to 72°F (21°C - 22°C). The difference was quite marked and they appeared happier in their cooler surroundings and started showing an improvement in colouration.



Adult with young.

have been in the U.K. on and of for about 20 years now but it has only been lately that there are getting regularly spawned, with Catfish Study Group members Adrian Taylor and Mark Walters being especially productive. My individuals were from a spawning by Adrian.

This species inhabits white water and clearwater streams in the coastal lowlands, where it is sympatric with the similar looking
Corydoras nattereri.


Shape of head, elongated with short snout.

Body colour, grey-brown. Metallic blue band runs along the body from just the front of the insertion of the dorsal fin to the caudal peduncle. Body has  many small pale spots especially on the head and over the top half of body. Three spots along the ridge of the back on the anterior and posterior of the dorsal fin and the adipose fin.


As with most of this family, no problem with other tank mates. Would be better to keep with species that are comfortable with cooler temperatures in the aquarium.


As per this genus. Has been bred at higher temperatures so a good idea would be to raise the temperture to the high 70s F. for a short period. Articles on the breeding of this family can be found in the breeding articles section here

Sexual differences
Scleromystax prionotos males do not display the extremely elongated pectoral and dorsal fins, which its congeners do. Also the cheek bristles or beard is barely visible, even in sexually active males. A good guide would be the overall shape with the females sporting a wider girth.

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 worm foods such as white worm used sparingly, and grindal worm.

Glossary of Terms
Anterior : The head end.
Posterior :
The tail end of the fish. Situated behind.
Caudal peduncle:
The area between the dorsal fin and the tail.


Seuss, Werner; Corydoras the most popular armoured catfishes of South America. p154.

Fuller A.M. & Georg Evers-Hans; Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish. p279.



prionotus: From the Greek prionotos = 'jagged' or 'serrated', alluding to the medial border of the pectoral fin spine.

Photo Credits

Images: © Adrian Taylor




Factsheet 141

Corydoras prionotus
Common Name:
False nattereri


South America: Brazil; Est. Espirito Santo, Linhares (19°22’S, 40°04’W), Lagoa Juparanã, Rio Doce system
6.5cm ( 2¾ins)
21-25°C (69-77°F)
6.0 -7.5.
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 141 = updated December 16, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top