Dianema sp.

8. August 2011

The genus Dianema comprises currently only two valid species (D. longibarbis and D. urostriata), which are pretty easy to distinguish due to the very different coloration of the caudal fin.

From Brazil we now received a third species under the name of “RED ITUXI”. Obviously the collectors in the field observed that the basic colour of the fish is by far more reddish-orange than in its congeneers. The fish has a pattern in the caudal fin, which is quite variable and reminds one in D. urostriata (in D. longibarbis the caudal fin is completely hyaline). Despite this the new Dianema differs clearly from the other two species by the always clearly visible fontanelle (see photos).

Keeping the new Dianema is as easy as keeping the other Dianema species. Dianema are day active, schooling fish that prefer to swim free in the water column in contrast to most other plated catfish. The fish are extremely peaceful and feed readily on any type of usual fishfood.

Breeding Dianema, on the other hand, is not that easy, as it is quite difficult to stimulate the fish. In case stimulation was successful, the male Dianema builds a kind of bubble nest under a broad leaf or so. Here the male spawns with one or several females. At least under aquarium conditions the guarding instinct is not very strong. The closely relative Hoplosternum, for example, jumps without any hesitating in the face of the curious aquarist that dares to put his nose too close to the nest …

The sexes of Dianema are not easy to distinguish. Males can be recognized best by the broader and stronger pectoral fin spines. Maximum size reported so far is around 8 cm (in D. longibarbis) and 15 cm (D. urostriata). Our new “RED ITUXI” are currently between 4 and 6 cm long.

For our customers: the new Dianema has code 251712 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Dianema: from ancient Greek, means about “with two threads”, referring to the two barbels on the upper and the lower jaw. longibarbis: Latin, means “with a long beard”. urostriata: Latin, means “with a striped tail”.

Suggestion of a common name Red Ituxi Dianema

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer