For the first time ever we could import this extremely odd species of banjo catfish. The eyes are reduced to very small, black spots. This is a hint either to a strictly nocturnal way of life or that the fish live burried. We obtained our specimens from Venezuela. Most probably they belong to the species X. lepturus, but we cannot be sure about that.
The genus Xyliphius has been established in 1912 by Carl Eigenmann for the species X, magdalenae from Colombia. Sadly Eigenmann used two different kinds of typing for the new genus simultaneously, namely Xiliphius and Xyliphius. This led to some confusion among later workers. Currently the typing Xyliphius is the accepted one.
There are 7 described species in the genus. They are represented in the museum collections of the world by only quite few specimens. The maximum length reported for members of the genus is between 8 and 15 cm. This means that our 5 specimens should be adult, as they have already a length of 8-10 cm. Now, for the first time in history, the behaviour of these unusual creatures can be studied.
For our customers: the animals have code 203464 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer