Shipments declared as “Corydoras deckeri” from Colombia are always subject of surprise. There is no scientifically described species C. deckeri, this name is pure fantasy. So sometimes Corydoras axelrodi, sometimes C. loxozonus, and sometimes the scientifically undescribed C. sp. C3 are shipped under that flag.
This time we received the pretty C3. However, all three species mentioned express a great number of varieties. It seems thus quite likely that the three do not represent different species, but rather a species flock that merely hybridize with each other and cannot be classified in the theoretical concept that we call “species”.
C3 has basically the same pattern as C. loxozonus, but the broad horizontal band is located in the middle of the body, as it is in C. axelrodi; in C. loxozonus this band runs along the back.
But there do exist specimens of C3 that look totally different. One would not hesitate to declare them as different species, were there not all thinkable intergrades. We could spot only one real bycatch in our shipment, a species with a sharp snout (blunt in C3), many horizontal stripes and a striped caudal fin. This fish has been given the code number CW113 recently by Ian Fuller.
For our customers: the fish have code 223603 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer