Megalechis thoracata

19. August 2020

The Port Hoplo Megalechis thoracata – maybe the synonym (now invalid) name Hoplosternum thoracatum is more familar to some readers – is one of the earliest aquarium fish at all. The fish has only one real disadvantage: the maximum size, which is about 15 cm (or sometimes even larger). However, the species has a comparatively small mouth and so it fits quite well in a community tank with more robust and somewhat larger fish. Megalechis have a great fan community who calls them the „fighting sausages“.

Breeding Megalechis is very interesting, for male Port Hoplos build up a foam nest, similar to that known from anabantoids. Megalechis prefers to build it under a swimming item (breeders often use the covers of old coffee boxes, but this is hardly ever available in the wild). The male is very pugnacious while guarding the nest and will even jump in the keeper´s face if this curious person comes too close to the nest!

We have currently offspring of a particularly pretty, very contrasty variant in stock. Despite their small size – 5-6 cm – the animals are already sexually differentiated (sexually ripe males have greatly enlarged pectoral fin spines and the bone plates covering the breast are much larger than the corresponding bone plates of the females) and in the females you can see the orange spawn shimmering through the belly sides.

For our customers: the animals have code 250302 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer