All FishesCallichthyidaeCallichthyinaeMegalechis

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Scientific NameMegalechis picta  (Müller & Troschel, 1848)
Common NamesTail Bar Hoplo
Bartail Hoplo, Tail Bar Armoured Catfish
Type LocalityMana, French Guiana
Synonym(s)Callichthys longifilis, Callichthys pictus, Callichthys sulcatus, Callichthys thoracatus, Hoplosternum orinocoi, Hoplosternum thoracatum
PronunciationMEG ah LEK iss - pik tah
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 170mm or 6.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationCan be distinguished from the similar M. thoracata by the conspicuous dark vertical band in the caudal fin. In M . thoracta the caudal fin is all-over greyish.
SexingMales are larger and develop greatly lengthened pectoral fin rays. The males coracoids almost touch whilst the females (esp. if full of eggs) remain separate.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
DistributionEast of the Andes in the northern portion of South America, including the Amazonas and Orinoco rivers, as well as the coastal drainages of the Guianas
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (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)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH5.0 - 6.5
Temperature18.0-28.0°C or 64.4-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersNot a delicate fish when it comes to water conditions. Ideally the water should also be a little soft. Tolerates very low-oxygen content.
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.
FurnitureFloating plants are a good idea although this fish will live happily on most set-ups.
CompatibilityPeaceful and not predatory, although larger specimens can be downright boisterous at feeding time.
Suggested TankmatesIdeal for mid to large sized community tanks. Best kept with other similarly active bottom feeders such as Brochis, most Botia loaches. They are even tough enough to be kept with Labeo 'sharks' and similar. This is a good catfish for an active, lively set-up featuring, for example, barbs or rainbowfish.
BreedingBubblenest builder. Well conditioned pairs should spawn readily, but a large water change should prompt spawning of a more reluctant pair.
Hop to next section Further Information
ReferencesReisen in Britisch-Guiana, pp630.
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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2017 Oct 30 13:49 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)