Centromochlus sp. Ninja (= C. orca)

11. March 2010

A small sensation reached us recently from Brazil. Already when the small (4-6 cm long) catfish were unpacked their brillant black-and-white-pattern was a real eyecatcher. The fish definetely belong to the genus Centromochlus, which currently comprises 11 species in South America. These fish are close relatives of the better known genus Tatia and belong (like Tatia) to the family Auchenipteridae (driftwood catfishes). Driftwood cats have an internal insemination. The anal fin of the males is modified to enable this. Females lay their fertilized eggs in absence of the males.

Our “ninja cats” have proved so far to be hardy, undemanding fish.

For our customers: the species has code 295852 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale market.

Lexicon: Centromochlus: from ancient Greek “with lever arm”, referring to the pectoral spines which can be a locked by a special mechanism.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Additional note from 28. 5. 2010:

Ninja-cat identified: Centromochlus musaica!

We sincerly thank Roland Numrich from Mimbon-Aquarium, Cologne, for the crucial tip: the “Ninja-cat” has already been described in 1992 from Venezuela as Tatia musaica and is currently placed in Centromochlus.

Royero, R. (1992): Tatia musaica, una neuva especie de bagre auquenipterido (Siluriformes – Auchenipteridae) de la cuenca del Rio Orinoco, Territorio Federal Amazonas, Venezuela. Acta Cientifica Venezolana v. 43 (no. 5): 300-306.