This Corydoras belongs with 9-11 cm of total-length to the biggest and most splendid species of the genus at all. Both sexes develop, when they are sexually active, long dorsal fins. The males can be recognized by the additional long ventral fins.
Corydoras armatus is a rather distinctive cory from Peru. We have also received this beautiful species, which is notable for its particularly high dorsal fin, from Venezuela from time to time (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/corydoras_armatus_venezuela_de/). Geographically this all fits together well, the catching regions both belong to the upper drainage of the Amazon.
However, there is a sibling species of Corydoras armatus from Brazil. It inhabits the Rio Abuna in the border area between Brazil and Bolivia. The Brazilian was given the invalid trade names “Corydoras dorsalis” and “Corydoras ogawae”, freely invented names without scientific meaning. In addition, the form received the number CW86.
The Brazilian lookalike is hardly distinguishable from the “real” Corydoras armatus. However, there are about 2,500 km as the crow flies between the Rio Huallaga (the type locality of C. armatus) and the Rio Abuna! Additionally CW86 has somewhat coarser spots than its cousins.
We have now after a long time again this beautiful armored catfish imported.
For our customers: CW86 has code 222113 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
One of the most important arguments for importing wild-caught fish for aquaristics is the gain in knowledge it allows. For the majority of small fish species this is only possible by observing living specimens. Without this there is no species knowledge, without species knowledge there is no species conservation.
A wonderful example of the above is the Corydoras, which we received from Brazil a few weeks ago under the name Corydoras davidsandsi. It seemed to us a bit too high-backed and pointy-nosed for C. davidsandsi, but because they are particularly large animals and we had no better name to offer in a hurry, we let it go for the time being.
In the meantime, however, we did further research and came to surprising results. Since the 1980s a very beautiful armored catfish is imported from Colombia, which several scientists identified in scientific studies as Corydoras melini. This Colombian is a round-nosed armored catfish with a black eye band; a broad black dorsal band begins below the dorsal fin and runs down the root of the tail to the lower base of the caudal fin and continues along the lower edge of the caudal fin. We will refer to this color pattern as the “Melini pattern” in the following text.
Nowadays we have learned that there are several developmental lineages in armored catfishes that differ in terms of head shape (and thus food acquisition). Very often there are round-, long- and saddle-snouts with almost identical color pattern, without these species being more closely related to each other; in addition, there are twin species with the same head shape, which, however, occur in spatially far apart areas, therefore at least represent different populations and are usually distinguished by details of coloration. And to make it even more complicated: the head or snout shape is also subject to a certain variation within a population and also changes in the course of individual development (ontogenesis). For example, a very young long snout is recognizable as such only to very experienced specialists, and the relative length of the snout increases considerably during growth.
The examination of the first scientific description of Corydoras melini showed that it is clearly a longnose, even if the animals on which the description was based were still relatively small. They were collected in 1924 in the Rio Uaupes in the border area between Brazil and Colombia by D. Melini, in whose honor the species was named at the first description by Lönnberg and Rendahl. Rendahl was not only a zoologist but also a recognized artist and made a detailed drawing of the largest, 44.4 mm (without caudal fin) long animal, which Nijssen & Isbrücker declared to be the lectotype in 1980 (thus it is the reference specimen for all subsequent determinations). Because this work is not so readily available, we reproduce the drawing here for comparison purposes.
An easily recognizable difference between the “false” C. melini from Colombia and the “true” C. melini from the Rio Uaupes (in Colombia the same river is called Vaupes) is the coloration of the dorsal fin. The “false” C. melini has a black triangle in the dorsal fin that extends from the tip of the dorsal fin spine to the posterior lower end of this fin. The dorsal fin triangle is merged in color with the dorsal band. In the “true” C. melini, however, the dorsal fin is transparent and only in the lower, dorsal region is there a flat, black rectangle that is also connected to the dorsal band. Further coloration differences are easily seen in the attached photos. By the way, according to Castro (1987) the “false” C. melini occurs in the Rio Guaviare (Colombia, Orinoco drainage) and in the Rio Caqueta (Amazonian drainage in Colombia, in Brazil the same river is called Japurá).
The following longnose with “melini pattern” and the coloration of the “true” C. melini are currently known: C52 (Peru), C85 (Peru), C138 (Peru), C159 (Brazil: Rio Purus), CW89 (Colombia, Rio Vaupes), CW106 (Colombia, Rio Cuduyaria, a tributary of Rio Vaupes). Of these, ours, sent as C. davidsandsi, correspond best to C159 and from our point of view CW89 is the fish closest to the first description of C. melini.
Finally, a word about C. davidsandsi: this species occurs in the Rio Negro drainage (Rio Unini) in Brazil and has the “melini pattern”, but the nuchal shield between the eye patch and the dorsal fin base is colored pale orange-red, which places it more in the relationship of Corydoras adolfoi, C. burgessi, C. imitator and similar species.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer
Castro, D. M. (1987): The fresh-water fishes of the genus Corydoras from Colombia, including two new species (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Boletin Ecotrópica. No. 16: 23-57, Pls. 1-11.
Lönnberg, E. & H. Rendahl (1930): Eine neue Art der Gattung Corydoras. Arkiv för Zoologi v. 22 A (no. 5): 1-6.
Nijssen, H. & I. J. H. Isbrücker (1980): A review of the genus Corydoras Lacépède, 1803 (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde v. 50 (no. 1): 190-220.
For a long time this fish, the type species of the genus Corydoras, was a mystery. Until today it is a top rarity among the armored catfishes. And so we are especially pleased to be able to offer offspring of this precious fish once again. The animals are still a bit inconspicuous, so we would like to thank Ernst-Otto von Drachenfels and Jürgen Glaser for providing us with some pictures of adult animals!
Corydoras geoffroy comes from the Guyana countries Suriname and French Guyana, from where there are no ornamental fish exports. The species, described as early as 1803, could therefore only be made available to the hobby by adventurous traveling aquarists. Since 2018, Corydoras specialists have been successfully engaged in breeding these unusual animals.
For our customers: the fish have code 230212 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text: Frank Schäfer, Photos: Ernst-Otto von Drachenfels, Jürgen Glaser and Frank Schäfer
The beautiful Corydoras undulatus belongs to the relationship of C. elegans. Like most representatives of this group the species swims rather in free water than on the ground. Also typical for the group is that males and females differ clearly in color. In the case of C. undulatus the males become very dark with bright points.
Corydoras undulatus comes to us from Paraguay and grows 5-6 cm long. The species has some siblings: C88 from the Mato Grosso in Brazil is very similar and also C. bilineatus from Bolivia is a species that can be easily confused with C. undulatus.
For our customers: the fish have code 248004 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The changed legal situation in Brazil now makes the import of several species from the south of Brazil possible again, which for many years were only available as offspring, among them the magnificent Scleromystax barbatus (formerly Corydoras b.). We have been able to import a good number of wonderful, fully grown specimens. For more information on the species, please see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/scleromystax-barbatus/
The sexes are extremely differently marked in S. barbatus; the easiest way to go is by the light-colored forehead blaze, which only the male shows. By the way, the „Banded Coryoras“ is one of the very few species among the typical armored catfishes, which show rudimentary brood care. The male defends the spawning ground for some time.
For our customers: the fish have code 224006 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
The very nice Corydoras eversi lives in the Araguaia drainage (Brazil) and became known as C 65. It was only scientifically described in 2016. The scientific treatment of C. eversi is based on a collection by Hans-Georg Evers in 1998, who was also able to bring living animals with him. As mentioned, they were initially assigned the number C65.
The species is present in aquaristics since its first import by conservation breeding – a nice example that conservation breeding is also possible by hobby aquaristics. Also our fish, which we can offer just now, are offsprings. C. eversi is very similar to C. araguiaensis from the same distribution area and differs – apart from color details, especially the golden yellow shimmer – by a structure in the cranial skeleton.
For our customers: the animals have code 229575 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
From the Brazilian state of Amazonas, more precisely from the surroundings of the city of Anori, we once again received a good number of a beautiful armored catfish, which is known to science for a long time, but rarely appears aquaristically: Corydoras eques.
This typical schooling Corydoras looks most attractive when kept in black water. The bright orange neck banding undoubtedly serves to keep the swarm together when underwater visibility is poor. C. eques becomes about 6 cm long.
For our customers: the animals have code 227814 on our stocklist.Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Corydoras loxozonus belongs to the beautiful armored catfishes, which we receive relatively regularly from Colombia. The species is quite variable in pattern and therefore has already received the C-numbers C79 and C83. There was never any “proof” that these C-numbers really belong to the species C. loxozonus; this was only concluded from the fact that these unusually patterned C-numbers were always imported together with C. loxozonus.
We just received pretty Corydoras loxozonus and between them was a longnose with amazingly similar coloration. This longnose has so far not been described scientifically nor in the hobby, in the hobby an extremely similar species has the code number C16. C16 in turn has always been imported as a bycatch of another Colombian species, namely C. melini. C. melini is clearly more high-backed than C. loxozonus and originates from the Rio Uaupes (= Rio Vaupes), which belongs to the Amazon River system, whereas C. loxozonus originates from the Rio Meta, an Orinoco tributary. Therefore, the C16-like bycatch to C. loxozonus is probably not a C16, but another undescribed species! Unfortunately, this animal is not expected to ever enter the trade in larger numbers.
However, this example shows once again that it is worth to have a closer look also at “common” species. They also hold many a surprise!
For our customers: Corydoras loxozonus has code 233703 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesaler.
This well known, but still beautiful Corydoras originates from the Rio Purus system in Brazil. It was named in honor of the exporter Willy Schwartz. In Corydoras schwartzi, which belongs to the stocky, round-headed members of the genus, the dorsal fin is marked very slightly differently in each animal, the coloration of the spine ranges from bright white-cream to gray; there are sometimes spots on the membranes. Usually Corydoras schwartzi has a widened black spot just below the dorsal fin, also its size and shape varies individually.
C. schwartzi grows to a length of about 5 cm and is a typical corydoras in terms of care, so it wants to be kept in a group, likes fine sand as substrate in places and eats any ornamental fish food. Because of their origin they like it warm (26-30°C), therefore they fit well as bottom fish in aquariums with Discus fish.
For our customers: the animals have code 244503 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer