n the 1970s and 80s T. galeatus (known then
as Parauchenipterus galeatus) was one of
the few members of the woodcats that you could purchase
in the U.K. but today there has been a resurgence
in popularity for this family although they are still
more popular with catfish enthusiasts due to their
one of the prettiest catfishes around and can often
be seen in different
colour tones due to the substrate/decor in the tank,
and also coming from different river systems they
can have a brown colouration (as above) to a darker
should contain hiding places such as pipework as they
will jamb themselves in there until dusk where they
will venture out for food. If you keep them in a dimly
lit tank you will be able to see them more often.
Not a quickly growing catfish so they will take several
years to reach adult size. Substrate in the tank can
be of choice, either small round gravel or sand.
The larger the tank the better
so they can grow to their potential, anything over
3ft in length is recommended for a pair.
An easy catfish
to keep with no special demands on the keeper, although
regular water changes are best adhered to.
French Guiana, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago.
Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal
soft rays (total): 5 - 6; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft
rays: 20 - 25. The body is stocky, the head a little
depressed, the inferior jaw a little prognathous,
the cephalic helmet covered with finely pigmented
skin in adults, with a fontanelle shorter than the
Body colour brown through to
dark brown with dark blotch
on operculum and just
below dorsal fin. Brown mottled appearance throughout
Care & Compatibility
Although they are not greatly
aggresive they can not to be trusted with small fish
so would be better housed with species larger than
The spiny structure
of the pectoral fins enables the male to hold the
females during mating (internal fertilization). Sperm
can be kept in the female's genital tract for several
months, owing to a gelatinous emission from the seminal
vesicle of the male. At maturity, the size of the
adhesive eggs (20% of the female's weight) is 3 mm.
Nine days after hatching, alevin size is 1.5 cm and
they feed on microscopic worms or small insects. At
around 11 days, their negative phototropism pushes
them to hide themselves under branches or rocks.
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 won't be too far away
with this assumption. 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.
Most prepared foods such as
tablet and pellet and frozen foods such as bloodworm.
If the aquarium is dimly lit you can see the it coming
out to feed and will grab food out of your hand if
you dangle frozen bloodworm in the water.
The fin forward from the anal cavity. Dorsal Fin:
The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Operculum: The bony covering of the
gills of fishes.
T., M. Pascal, F.J. Meunier and P.-Y. Le Bail
1997 Poissons de Guyane. Guide écologique de
l'Approuague et de la réserve des Nouragues.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris,
219 p. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (01/2011).