All FishesCallichthyidaeCallichthyinaeMegalechis

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Scientific NameMegalechis thoracata  (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)
Common NamesHoplo
Amazon-pansermalle (Denmark), Armoured Catfish, Gefleckter Schwielenwels (Germany), Prickig Hoplo (Sweden), Spotted Hoplo
Type LocalityMana R., French Guiana.
Synonym(s)Callichthys exaratus, Callichthys personatus, Hoplosternum personatus, Hoplosternum thoracatum surinamensis, Megalechis personata
PronunciationMEG ah LEK iss - tho rah KAT ah
EtymologyMegalechis: 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 155mm or 6.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationCan 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.
SexingA sexually mature male exhibits a thickened first pectoral ray which ranges from orange / brown to scarlet in colour.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
DistributionTrinidad, Guyana, Martinique, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru & Paraguay
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 (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH5.5 - 8.2
Temperature17.0-28.0°C or 62.6-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersAble to survive in poor water conditions.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingNot 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.
FurnitureMegalechis can be found in South American low-oxygen plant infested pools, almost puddles in some cases, but will happily live in most set-ups.
CompatibilityPeaceful and not predatory, although larger specimens can be downright boisterous at feeding time.
BreedingWell 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''.
Hop to next section Further Information
ReferencesHistoire naturelle des poissons v. 15, pp309, Pl. 443.
Registered Keepers(1) Riffraffs, (2) Bricep95.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2017 Oct 30 13:49 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)