Banjo catfishes are subjects for lovers of calm fishes. One could also ay: for lovers of phlegmatic fishes. These creatures will not swim even an inch if it is not absolutely necessary. On the other hand they are really odd looking creatures. The strangest looking of this assemblage of strange-looking animals is without any doubt Amaralia hypsiura. This species attains a length of about 12 cm and has a very wide distribution in South America. It can be easily recognized by the much reduced dorsal fin. Until a few weeks ago only one species was recognized in Amaralia, namely A. hypsiura, but recently a second species, A. oviraptor, has been described from the Paraná-Paraguay-system. It looks almost identical to A. hypsiura.
Our specimens originate from Venezuela. While researching the new species it was found that all Amaralia feed almost exclusively on eggs and freshly hatched young fish with a large yolk sac of other fish species, most often obviously on loricariids.
When Amaralia are disturbed they press the tail on the side of the body, thus imitating seeds of beans (for example Mucuna sp.).
Sadly Amaralia are only very rarely offered by the exporters, despite the wide distribution and the fact that they are far from being rare in the wild. So we are quite proud that we could manage once more a successful import. Our four specimens are fully grown: one male and three females.
For our customers: the fish have code 203455 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Only four specimens available!
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer