The Pimelodid catfish genus Cheirocerus Eigenmann
is redefined on the basis of its specialised lips,
premaxilla and swim bladder. Sovichthys Schultz
is synonymized with Cheirocerus. A revision
of Cheirocerus reveals that C. leptus
(Eigenmann and Pearson) is a synomym of C. goeldii(Steindachner). The three species of Cheirocerus
can be readily distinguished on the basis of total
number of gill rakers on the first arch: 17-21 in
C. eques, 23-27 in C. goeldii and
30-33 in C. abuelo. Colour pattern, form
of the occipitaland other differences
also help to distinguish the species. Habitat:
C. eques and C. goldeii are known from
large, turbid rivers of the Amazon basin, and C.
abuelo is known only from the Lago Maraciabo
basin of northwestern Venezuela. The apparent absence
of Cheirocerus in the Rio Orinoco basin is
an interesting discontinuity, but may reflect the
need for further exploration. Aquarium Care:
Not a lot of information is forthcoming for this genus
but they are nocturnal and a mid sized pim with sizes
ranging from 15-20 cm. SL. Diet:
Mostly consists of benthic invertebrates, with chironomid
larvae being a dominant component, but also including
ostracods and mayfly nymphs.
Lake Maracaibo basin. Type locality:
Venezuela, Río de Los Pájaros, 3 km
above Lago Maracaibo, at depth of 15 ft.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr.,
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary
types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 04/2015 ). Burgess, 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.