Saturday, September 29, 2012

South American Armored Catfish

Corydoras semiaquilus
The South American Armored Catfish gets its name from the visible plates on their sides. Many Catfish species have no scales at all, but this small fish has bony scutes that run the length of their body, giving them a very interesting look (as opposed to the smooth appearance of other members of their Order).

The Amazon Basin of South America in where these fish call home. Like many Catfish, they are nocturnal bottom feeders, using their flat heads and barbels to search for and uncover food. They are very small, usually not growing larger than a few centimeters, which means their prey must also be small-- they consume worms, insects, small crustaceans, and various bits of plant matter.

The species is commonly kept in captivity, and are also referred to as the Peru Black Cory. They are said to be a very peaceful fish that won't bother other tank residents, and they prefer to live in small groups. The fish do best in tanks that have bottoms covered in a small substrate, rather than large rocks (since they dig around to feed).

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Amazon Basin
Size : Length up to 2.5in (6cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Siluriformes
Family : Callichthyidae -- Genus : Corydoras -- Species : C. semiaquilus

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