All FishesAspredinidaePlatystacus

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Scientific NamePlatystacus cotylephorus  Bloch, 1794
Common NamesEel-tail Banjo Catfish
Banded Banjo, Båndet Banjomalle (Denmark), Maulbruetender Hexenwels (Germany), Mottled Eel-tail Banjo Catfish, Whiptail Banjo Catfish
Type LocalityNo locality.
Synonym(s)Aspredo cotylephorus, Cotylephorus blochii, Silurus hexadactylus
Pronunciationplat ee STAK uss - coat ee LEFF or uss
EtymologyPlatystacus: 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 320mm or 12.6" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThe fishes mottled colouration is very variable - almost to the point of no two individuals looking exactly the same.
SexingFemales 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 RemarksThis 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
DistributionSouth America: Western Central Atlantic: 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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pH6.0 - 8.2
Temperature22.0-25.0°C or 71.6-77°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersAlthough 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
FeedingA nocturnal scavenger. Will eat most food after lights our. Can be tempted to eat frozen foods during the day.
FurnitureA large sandy bottom with leaf cover is ideal, fish of all ages will bury in the sand. Larger fish will bury in gravel.
CompatibilityWill eat small fish and shrimps but otherwise entirely docile.
Suggested TankmatesSmall 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.
BreedingNot reported in the home aquarium, but evidence exists of the method of reproduction. See catfish of the month article.
Hop to next section Further Information
ReferencesNaturg. Ausl. Fischev. 8 - pp54 - Pl. 372
Registered Keepers(1) Bricep95.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2014 Apr 17 15:34 (species record created: 2001 Apr 13 00:00)