Pimelodina flavipinnis

28. May 2021

We are proud to present this unusual first import. The rarity of this pretty large catfish in the hobby stands in strong contrast to the fact that it was scientifically described as early as 1876, is widespread (our animal comes from the Rio Negro in Brazil, but it also exists in the Rio Madeira, in Peru and in the llanos of Venezuela and other areas of the Orinoco) and is a popular and frequently traded food fish. However, the high color variability described in scientific papers suggests that several unrecognized species are involved. The genus Pimelodina is monotypic, so there is only this one scientifically accepted species.

Pimelodina flavipinnis grows to a length of about 40 cm, our specimen is therefore adult. Within the large catfishes of South America P. flavipinnis stands out due to its unusual snout shape in combination with an underslung mouth. This naturally raises the question of how and from what the animal feeds. The long barbels indicate the predatory character; however, stomach content examniations revealed aquatic insect larvae and substances that accumulate when chewing through soil, such as sand and seeds. 

The preferred habitat of this species is riverine lagoons. In June and July the animals perform spawning migrations. We cannot say much about aquarium life yet, except that our animal behaves relatively calmly and does not tend to frolic; this is a feared phenomenon in larger fish, because panic reactions are naturally associated with a high risk of injury. The slight injuries that our animal showed after importation are therefore probably due to the catch. In Brazil, the professional fishermen who catch this species for food use long seines.

For our customers: the animal has code 278957 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer