genus Tatia contains around about 14 species
(2010) distributed throughout South America east of
the Andes from Venezuela and Colombia to Southern
Brazil. They don't grow big and the largest size recorded
is 12cm.( 5ins).
to be kept by catfish fanatics (for the want of
a better word!) as you will not see them from one
week to another as they are nocturnal (active at
night) and you have to feed at lights out or as
I do, put food into the pipe or crevice that you
will find them jammed into.
is quite a plain catfish. The eyes are large with
a skin over them and a few non catfish aquarists
tend to think that they have cloudy eye's and it
is a disease, but this is normal for the Auchenipteridae
are moderate in length reaching to the end of the
dorsal fin and they tend to bend them upwards when
looking for food. They can also tuck their barbels
alongside their cheeks making them nearly invisible.
I tend to think that there is a groove in this area
where they can lay their barbels in. They possess
two pairs of barbels, one pair of mandibular and
one pair of maxillary.
They have quite
a chunky body with a broad based caudal peduncle
(between the dorsal and caudal) which is unusual
in itself as in most fish it slopes down to the
caudal fin. Tatia possess a very small adipose
fin and a moderately
sized ventral and anal.
- head view
The anal fin is
the key to the sexual dimorphism of this genus, if
you think of the male and female of most livebearer
fish (Goodeidae family) and you will not be
too far away with this assumption. As you can see
above the female has a normal anal fin but the males
are modified into a copulatory organ with the first
and second ray thickened and longer, it is thought
that the male uses this to clasp the female during
the spawning embrace.
Occurs in the Madeira river drainage of the Amazon
basin. Most records are from upper reaches, in the
Guaporé and Mamoré rivers.
fin I,5 (n=7); dorsal-fin spine with 14-16 antrorse
serrations along entire anterior margin; posterior
margin smooth. Pectoral fin I,5 (n=7); pectoral-fin
spine with 21-24 antrorse serrations along anterior
margin; small serrations close to spine base; 14-16
retrorse serrations along posterior margin; serrations
along both margins progressively larger toward spine
tip. Pelvic fin i,5 (n=7); margin rounded. Adipose
fin small, origin on vertical through end of anal-fin
base. Anal fin iii,7-8 (n=7); anal-fin pterygiophores
in eight rod-like proximal radials and seven cartilaginous
distal radials. Caudal fin forked, lobes with rounded
tips, 8+9 principal rays, 18- 20 upper procurrent,
17-20 lower procurrent rays (n=7). Pleural ribs 10-11
attached to consecutive vertebrae. PostWeberian vertebrae
Body coloration is somewhat
variable, usually with large bands or blotches irregularly
distributed over sides of body. In some specimens
colouration is uniformly dark or pale brown, with
caudal fin mottled. Some young specimens have small
spots over ventrolateral parts of body and a barred
Care & Compatibility
Give them small pipes, and
they do seem to like to hide in the crevices of bogwood
as well. They appear to be happier if they can jam
themselves in with the use of their pectoral fins.
Community tanks are fine for this species although
you may find that they will predate on fry from other
species, but apart from that they come well recommended
but don't expect to see them too often.
with the eggs deposited 24-48 hours later. Also a
report on Tatia creutzbergi, (T. gyrina)
with them placing their adhesive eggs on the underside
of wood with no broodcare after the event. A few members
of the Auchenipteridae family have been spawned
in the hobby with a successful breeding and raising
of the young of Trachelyichthys decaradiatus
by Dick Thompson, a former member of The Northern
Area Catfish Group (now the Catfish
In its native habitat they
feed on small invertebrates and crustaceans and in
the aquarium they will eat anything given such as
frozen bloodworm inserted in to their hideaway, catfish
tablets, white worm (sparingly) and prawns and shrimp.
They do like their food and you can see them shooting
out of their hideouts and swimming in a frenzied manner
to try and take all for themselves, especially when
you feed them their favourite food, frozen bloodworm.
In honour of Mr. C. Tate Regan.
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. Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1991 Aquarien
atlas. Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur-
und Heimtierkunde, Germany. 1104 p. Catfish Association Great Britain.
Volume1. Sterba, Gunther; Freshwater Fishes
of the World 1.
Sarmento-Soares, Luisa Maria; Martins-Pinheiro, Ronaldo
Fernando A systematic revision of Tatia (Siluriformes:
Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae) Neotropical Ichthyology,
6(3):495- 542, 2008.