From Peru we could import very nice Hypoptopoma. Most of the import consisted of H. gulare (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/hypoptopoma-gulare/), but there were some specimens with very conspicuous, broad bands in the dorsal fin and contrasting caudal fins. Unfortunately the identification attempt based on the current revision of the genus (Aquino & Schaefer, 2010) did not give a satisfying result and new species have not been described since then. However, the species is already depicted, mostly under the name H. sp. III, with the remark that the origin of this fish is unknown or that the locality is “Brazil”. Since we now know that this species comes from the Rio Ucayali in Peru, we have designated it with the corresponding information.
According to Aquino & Schaefer the species Hypoptopoma bianale, H. steindachneri, H. gulare, H. thoracatum, H. psilogaster and possibly also H. brevirostratum occur in the Rio Ucayali. Our fish does not fit to any of the mentioned species, so that it is probably to be assumed that it is a scientifically still undescribed species. According to the few data in the aquaristic literature Hypoptopoma sp. Ucayali (= H. sp. III) becomes 10-12 cm long (total length, thus including tail fin). Our import fish are currently 5-7 cm long, so they are just half grown.
For our customers: the fish have code 262315 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in very small quantities!
Sometimes it is coincidence that determines whether a fish species can establish itself in the hobby. In the case of this Corydoras sp. Peru, a Corydoras fan noticed the fish when visiting a wholesaler; they were so-called by-catches that had been sorted out. Unfortunately, the wholesaler could not remember exactly where the animals originally came from, but believes it was Peru. The Corydoras fan took the fish with him and was able to breed them. So they first spread among Corydoras specialists. We have now received offspring from one of these specialists.
This Corydoras species does not really fit to any species known so far. It has a lot of similarity to C115/C116 (also from Peru), but the horizontal stripe on the middle of the tail, which is so typical for C115/C116, is missing.
Corydoras sp. Peru is in any case a very beautiful Corydoras catfish, which can be predicted to have a long aquaristic career because of its easy breeding.
For our customers: the animals have code 245548 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
216 scientifically described Corydoras species, of which 163 are generally accepted as valid (this number is, of course, constantly changing, as of March 2020), 159 C-numbers and 160 CW-numbers: one should think that gradually all Corydoras are sufficiently known. But there are still several species which are known only because of their scientific description and which are difficult to assign to living imported specimens.
One of these species is Corydoras orphnopterus which has been described in 1970. This long-nosed Corydoras catfish has the following unique combination of colour characteristics: it has a dark eye mask, a black spot in the dorsal fin, which is most intense at the front edge of the centre of the fin, a pattern of relatively small dots, which form three parallel lines on the caudal peduncle in the middle of the body, in the space between which the basic colour of the body – whitish – is lighter than on the rest of the body, resulting in two light bands and a pattern of approximately 6-7 thin bands in the caudal fin, which are dissolved into individual spots. C. orphnopterus has been described on the basis of three specimens collected by an unknown collector at an undocumented time in Ecuador (at the lower Rio Bobonaza between Montalvo (2°06’S, 76°59’W) and Chicherota (2°22’S, 76°38’W, province of Pastaza). The Rio Bobonaza belongs to the catchment area of the Rio Pastaza, which in turn flows into the Amazon in Peru.
For some years now, Corydoras orphnopterus from Peru has been offered, although comparatively rarely and at relatively high prices. Initially, the location where these animals were found was not known. For this reason, and because details of the colour pattern were coarser than in the holotype of C. orphnopterus, and because literally nothing is known about the colour variance of C. orphnopterus, these animals were called CW58 in the hobby as a precaution.
Now we succeeded in importing 40 specimens of this form. The exporter gave us the Rio Tigre as the collecting place. This river originates in Ecuador, also in the province of Pastaza, and flows into the Amazon in Peru. Our current import shows the large individual range of colour patterns typical for long-nosed corys. You can recognize each individual by its pattern of drawings. Among our animals there are some that correspond almost in every detail to the holotype of C. orphnopterus, as well as roughly patterned specimens of type CW58. In between there are all conceivable transitions. From the similar, also highly variable Corydoras leopardus, C. orphnopterus and CW58 are always distinguished by the dark eye-band, which is missing in C. leopardus.
Taking all the facts together, CW58 is a variant of Corydoras orphnopterus originating from the Rio Tigre according to current knowledge. There are still some doubts, because there are still no known living specimens from the Rio Bobonazo, but all in all it can be said that thanks to aquarium science a white spot on the map of knowledge about Corydoras could be filled with content.
For our customers: C. cf. orphnopterus from em Rio Tigre has code 238205 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
There are several species of Corydoras, which even pronounced specialists are not able to distinguish. In such cases it might be useful to speak of species groups instead of species. One such example is the species group around Corydoras elegans in the narrower sense, which includes C. elegans, C. napoensis, C. nanus and several C- and CW-numbers. What they all have in common is that the males and females are completely different in colour during the breeding season. In addition, these species swim more frequently in open water than other Corydoras.
In wild catches, a distinction is usually made between Corydoras elegans (widespread in Amazonia), in which the sexually active males have bands in the dorsal fin, and C. napoensis (Peru, Rio Napo), in which the sexually active males have a black dot in the dorsal fin; there are usually no imports from the distribution area of C. nanus (Suriname) and the various C- and CW-numbers. Based on the characteristic of the dorsal fin coloration, the beautiful Corydoras we have currently in our stock from Peru are C. elegans.
For our customers: the animals have code 229054 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Floundercatfish are very popular with catfish lovers because they combine an interesting appearance with the interesting mouth brood care. Some species become quite big, so P. laticeps from Paraguay, that can become well and gladly 35 cm long, but there are also smaller species. Among the latter are two scientifically seemingly not yet described species from Peru, one rather drawingless and one with a dot and worm line pattern on the head. The first is called in the hobby as P. sp. Peru I (it has, apart from the coloring also particularly large ventral fins) the second as P. sp. Peru II. Both types become 12-15 cm long, in addition comes a well body-long filament at the upper end of the tail fin. We can currently offer some almost full-grown specimens of P. sp. Peru II as German offspring.
For our customers: the animals have code 284564 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Most probably this importation of this black knifefish from Peru („preto“ means „black“) is the first one to Europe. At least the pictures of a life specimen we post here are the only ones we know about. The uniform black coloration is a good feature to distinguish the species from other members of the genus (there are five species of Sternarchogiton known so far). However, if one takes a closer look on the pictures a light stripe over the back is visible in many of them. This is not a true coloration, but a effect from the light. The mucus of the fish is obviously very thick over the back, which s the reason for that light stripe.
Aquarium observations show clearly that this knifefish tends to swim near the water surface. They often take air and water in the mouth; the water becomes spit out in form of a small blast. Most probably these fish feed in the wild on land insects that fall in the water. The species grows to a length of 20-25 cm, so our two specimens are fully grown already. Like most knifeffish these animals are very intelligent and observing them is extremely interesting.
For our customers: the fish have code 293905 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Only two specimens available!
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer