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Hop to next section All Fishes Data Sheet
Scientific Name Platystacus cotylephorus  Bloch, 1794
Common Names Eel-tail Banjo Catfish
Banded Banjo, BĂ„ndet Banjomalle (Denmark), Maulbruetender Hexenwels (Germany), Mottled Eel-tail Banjo Catfish, Whiptail Banjo Catfish
Type Locality No locality.
Synonym(s) Aspredo cotylephorus, Cotylephorus blochii, Silurus hexadactylus
Pronunciation plat ee STAK uss - coat ee LEFF or uss
Etymology Platystacus: From the Greek platys, meaning broad or flat and the Latin acus, meaning needle; in reference to the shape. Cotylephorus: meaning sites for the attachment of developing embryos, which in this case refers to the ventral area.
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 318mm or 12.5" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification The fishes mottled colouration is very variable - almost to the point of no two individuals looking exactly the same.
Sexing Females appear more brown than black with very little or no mottling. Males by contrast are darker and show high contrast mottling. Mature males have larger pectoral fins than equally aged females.
General Remarks This species is able to produce bark-like sounds by quickly moving the pectorals. These sounds are probably used to locate each other during mating periods and certainly when being attacked.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Central and South America: Venezuela to northern Brazil (including the lower portions of coastal rivers).
Atlantic, Western Central Atlantic (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2020.
pH 6.0 - 8.2
Temperature 22.0-25.0°C or 71.6-77°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Although the fish tolerates lower, the fish should really be kept at as near to a neutral pH as possible. Water should be medium hard.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A nocturnal scavenger. Will eat most food after lights our. Can be tempted to eat frozen foods during the day. User data.
Furniture A large sandy bottom with leaf cover is ideal, fish of all ages will bury in the sand. Larger fish will bury in gravel.
Compatibility Will eat small fish and shrimps but otherwise entirely docile.
Suggested Tankmates Small to medium sized hardy, preferably Amazon, fish that do not mind the higher pH and hardness this species prefers. Care should be taken to avoid fish that will pick away at the unmoving partly buried catfish.
Breeding Not reported in the home aquarium, but evidence exists of the method of reproduction. See catfish of the month article.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische v. 8, pp 54, Pl. 372.
Registered Keepers There is but a single registered keeper, view all "my fish" data.
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There are 6 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Oct 23 04:10 (species record created: 2001 Apr 13 00:00)