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Hop to next section All Fishes Data Sheet
Scientific Name Megalechis thoracata  (Valenciennes, 1840)
Common Names Hoplo
Armoured Catfish, Gefleckter Schwielenwels (Germany), Plettet Amazon-pansermalle (Denmark), Prickig Hoplo (Sweden), Spotted Hoplo
Type Locality Mana River, French Guiana.
Synonym(s) Callichthys exaratus, Callichthys personatus, Hoplosternum personatus, Hoplosternum thoracatum surinamensis, Megalechis personata
Pronunciation MEG ah LEK iss - tho rah KAT ah
Etymology Megalechis: From the Greek megas, meaning large and lekis, meaning plate; in allusion to the extreme development of the coracoid bones on the breast of fully developed males. 
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 124mm or 4.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Can be distinguished from the similar M. picta by the absence of a conspicuous dark vertical band in the caudal fin. In M . thoracata the caudal fin is all-over greyish.
Sexing A sexually mature male exhibits a thickened first pectoral ray which ranges from orange / brown to scarlet in colour.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Amazon, Orinoco and upper Paraguay River basins, as well as coastal rivers of the Guianas and northern Brazil.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
La Plata, Paraná, Paraguay, Upper Paraguay (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Guyana Waters, Coastal Rivers of Guyanas (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Trinidad rivers (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Maranhão waters, Itapicurú (Maranhão) (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 5.5 - 8.2
Temperature 17.0-28.0°C or 62.6-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Able to survive in poor water conditions.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Not a fussy eater, most foods are accepted. Bloodworm and sinking catfish tablets are best, but once established will eat flakes at the surface. Larger fish will take cichlid tablets / doromin. User data.
Furniture Megalechis can be found in South American low-oxygen plant infested pools, almost puddles in some cases, but will happily live in most set-ups.
Compatibility Peaceful and not predatory, although larger specimens can be downright boisterous at feeding time.
Breeding Well conditioned pairs should spawn readily, but a large water change should prompt spawning of a more reluctant pair. Mature fish are typically 18 months to 2 years old. The male builds a large bubble nest, therefore surface movement from filtration should be kept to a minimum. A mass of floating plants (Wysteria is good) are necessary to anchor the nest. After spawning the male guards the nest. The eggs within should hatch after 4 days. The fry are free swimming after 2 days and should be fed newly hatched brine shrimp. They will grown rapidly and should be fed small amounts frequently for the first 6 - 8 weeks during which they can attain sizes of up to 1.5''.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Histoire naturelle des poissons v. 15, pp309, Pl. 443.
Registered Keepers There are 2 registered keepers, view all "my fish" data.
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Last Update 2020 Oct 25 01:04 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)