we head to the end of 2015 our December factsheet
concentrates on a member of the Driftwood or Wood
Cats, Tetranematichthys wallacei. The Auchenipteridae
family get their common name due to their habit of
hiding in hollow logs during the day.
are three species in this genera T. barthemi
Peixoto & Wosiacki, 2010, T. quadrifilis
(Kner, 1858) and our factsheet of the month T.
wallacei Vari & Ferraris, 2006. Tetranematichthys
wallacei is the largest species out of the three
listed and although still relatively rare in imports,
due to their crepsular habit in their habitats, it
is the one mostly seen in the hobby.
Showing the males extended dorsal
There is always
a sense of anticipation when this rare catfish comes
on the market as catfish enthusiasts make a bee line
for the known source of the import which usually in
the U. K. is Pier Aquatics of Wigan, England, where
most catfish aficionados gather to see the latest
additions to our wonderful hobby.
Driftwood Dolphin Catfish
Amazon basin: upper Negro River system in Brazil and
Venezuela and upper Orinoco River basin in southern
Distinguished from T. quadrifilis
in the alignment of the lateral margins of the head
in the region from the anterior margin of the orbit
to the posterior limit of the opercle (running approximately
in parallel from ventral view vs. diverging laterally,
respectively); in the body width at the pectoral-fin
insertion as a proportion of the head width at the
posterior margin of the orbit (0.99-1.10 vs. 1.17-1.25,
respectively); in the distance from the tip of the
snout to the anal fin origin (0.29-0.32 of SL vs.
0.33-0.36 of SL, respectively); and in the position
of the anterior termination of the gill opening (one
orbital diameter posterior of the transverse plane
running through the posterior margin of the orbit
vs. positioned in the transverse plane running through
the center of the orbit, respectively).
Basic shades of brown to body.
Black speckles to body. Thin
black stripe along lateral line.
Care & Compatibility
A tank for Tetranematichthys
should contain fine sand on the bottom, should be
softly lit and should be equipped with a great number
of driftwood. During daytime the fish often sleep
lying on the side. This behaviour is absolutely normal
and no reason for the aquarist to become anxious.
It is carnivorous and prefers to feed on small fish.
Against conspecifics Tetranematichthys are
is internal and managed by a penis-like organ that
is formed by modified rays of the anal fin. It is
said that after the breeding season the dorsal fin
in males reduces the size to that of the female.
The males develop
an extended dorsal fin and is thorny.
Prefers live foods given at
lights out. Try different
choices of frozen foods to see what they prefer as
they can be picky in their dietary requirements.
The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin that lies
behind the anus, usually on the posterior half of
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top
of the body.
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Opercle: The
bony covering of the gills of fishes. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head.
Greek meaning "fish with four threats";
this refers to the barbels. With a carved breast-plate. wallacei:Named after Alfred Russel Wallace when,
starting in 1848, made large collections of plants
and animals in the Amazon basin.
R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008. FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
version (10/2008). Schäfer,
Frank:Aquarium Glaser. gmbh. www.aquariumglaser.de
Vari, R.P. and
C. Ferraris Jr., 2006. The catfish genus
Tetranematichthys (Aucheniptridae). Copeia 2006(2):168-180.