From the upper Amazonas drainage in Peru we regularly receive the beautiful emerald catfish, Brochis splendens. From this region no less than four synonyms of this armored catfish, distributed in three genera (Brochis, Chaenothorax and Corydoras) were described by the famous biologist Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897)! This shows very clearly how different the fish can look. The type specimen of the species Callichthys splendens (today: Brochis splendens) described by Castelnau in 1855 came from the Rio Tocantins in Brazil. It is agreed that there are several species behind the name Brochis splendens, but a comprehensive revision of the species does not exist at present.
At least it is quite interesting that just in a tank with Peru imports we noticed animals with small dots in the dorsal fin. This fin is usually completely transparent in B. splendens. At the same time one male developed – possibly because of the unusually high water temperatures due to the current heat wave – a courtship dress and distinctly long extended pectoral fin spines. The courtship dress is shown by a darkening of the body, a brightening of the head area and both zones are sharply separated by a bright vertical line. The matching female (and the other animals in the tank), on the other hand, continues to show the usual shiny emerald green coloration.
In terms of care, Brochis splendens does not differ significantly from most Corydoras species. You should keep these fish in a group (from 6 specimens upwards). The tank should not be too small, because B. splendens can reach almost 10 cm length. The bottom should consist of fine, soft sand at least in places. Every usual ornamental fish food is eaten. The Corydoras are completely peaceful against all co-inhabitants. Every tap water suitable as drinking water is suitable for the care, the water temperature can be between 18 and 28°C.
For our customers: the animals have code 212505 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer