Cat-eLog Right Arrow Doradidae Right Arrow Platydoras

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NamePlatydoras armatulus  (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)
Common Name(s)Humbug Catfish
Chokladmal (Sweden), Striped Raphael Catfish, Striped Talking Catfish
Type LocalityRío Paraná, but not below 27°30'S, South America.
Synonym(s)Doras armatulus
Pronunciationpla tee doh russ - are mat you luss
EtymologyPlatydoras: From the Greek platys, meaning flat, and doras, meaning skin (also a word commonly used in forming generic names for doradids); in reference to the depressed head. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 200mm or 7.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThis species has been misidentified as Platydoras costatus for decades, only in late 2008 was it recognised as P. armatulus. Orinocodoras eigenmanni can sometimes be offered for sale labeled as a Striped Raphael Cat or suchlike. This contaminant is most easily distinguished by its longer, more elongate snout and longer adipose fin. The contrasting white stripes on Platydoras armatulus are also considerably brighter, particularly on youngsters.
SexingAdult females are wider when viewed from above.
General RemarksTalking catfishes get their common name from noises they make, mostly at night, by grinding their pectoral fin bone in its "socket". Click here to listen to this species.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionWidespread in South America being found in both Amazon and Orinoco basins.
La Plata, Paraná (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tocantins (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Piauí Rivers, Parnaíba (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
pH6.0 - 7.5
Temperature23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show others within this range)
Other ParametersSlightly softer water is beneficial but not essential.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingAll aquarium fish foods, sinking catfish tablets offer the best method of getting food to the fish. Bloodworm and high protein dry food are also favourites. Try delivering food at night.
FurnitureCaves or pipes are a requirement if this fish is to avoid long-term stress or the possibility of mistaking a heater for safe refuge.
CompatibilityAn ideal community fish, peaceful but rugged.
Suggested TankmatesAnything from tetras to cichlids, preferably South American, but will mix with all community fish.
BreedingFry have been found in the aquarium, however spawning behaviour was not observed and is therefore unknown.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesHist. Nat. Poiss.v. 15 - pp275
Registered Keepers(1) TP (k: 2), (2) synoguy (k: 4), (3) natefrog, (4) Iwona (k: 4), (5) Kostas (p: 2, k: 5), (6) Sktchy, (7) Persephone, (8) Daniel Machado, (9) Chrysichthys, (10) Lornek8, (11) deter00005, (12) ivokilli, (13) call_apple (k: 3), who also notes: "3rd fish picked up at fall fish auction.", (14) Sarajute, (15) gage, (16) oldfish, (17) husky_jim, (18) Occellatus, who also notes: "My striped Raphael did not eat for the first week after it was introduced into my tank. On the 7th day, it started eating like a glutton. Fed it Hikari Carnivore Pellets mainly at night.", (19) mikelouth, (20) Attu, (21) jenny, (22) FishGeek, (23) hatecrew24/7 (k: 4), who also notes: "got 4 of these", (24) cymrucat, who also notes: "He now has a coconut home with anubias on the top and was put on a it of a diet as these fish will eat themselves circular !", (25) Jackp1ne, (26) Armadillo Del Rio, (27) Cooky_luvs, (28) Igowoof, (29) Greer, (30) ranmasan, who also notes: "A little reticent, but definitely a pleasure to keep!", (31) Kagerou, (32) Kattes (k: 3), (33) daniel60 (k: 4), (34) Dawg57, (35) Belial, (36) k1ttyme0w (k: 2), (37) Bas Pels (k: 2), who also notes: "In December 2012 I discovered a dead fish - I had it for 23 Years. The other two still seem fine. Currently the remaining 2 have moved, and are adapting well to their new tank.", (38) yogi69 (k: 3), (39) ali12345 (k: 3), (40) Benjamin, (41) LindsayB, (42) Plecofanatic1989, (43) nuth88 (k: 2), (44) Barracuda518 (k: 4), (45) orspearo666 (k: 3), who also notes: "very hardy. spawned once but eggs all eaten by other fish", (46) Freakdaddy, (47) NewFishKeeper, (48) mouseninja, (49) AK-Wolfman, (50) wheel1, (51) zenyfish, who also notes: "Very shy.", (52) Elric_Edward, (53) haxjester, (54) joepleco, (55) McDoes (p: 2), (56) SOBERKITTY, (57) gmer4life, who also notes: "its a pig it just wont stop eating.", (58) bitsygiggles, (59) Troender (k: 2), (60) myrheksa (p: 2, k: 9), (61) midnightrider, (62) CubCariboo, who also notes: "Name: "Sally" Very shy but will "Hide" in plain site so I can keep an eye on her(it) and is occasionally active under blue nightlight. Eats almost anything.", (63) Plunt, (64) griffl, (65) Ill (p: 2), (66) Lyssa, (67) coppernite (k: 5), (68) briggadane, (69) wardcorp, (70) jiapei, (71) miravns, (72) kubastanik, (73) aledk85, (74) AU Chief (p: 2), (75) pressureflip, (76) norfolkgarden, who also notes: "2 inches. neat fish. comes out often and one of the first to feed.", (77) iam1ru12, (78) zedogz, (79) koter73, (80) SoCalDiscus, (81) HeadHunter, (82) big_tank_boy, (83) gwa84, (84) fleahound (k: 2), (85) doesdavid, (86) Sandtiger, who also notes: "Deceased ", (87) Nick44 (k: 2), (88) smegforbrains (p: 2), (89) xander, (90) JimmyT, (91) Static, (92) Gopherboy (k: 2), (93) Sumners83 (p: 2), (94) chralis, (95) xxzeezeexx, (96) Phoxinus (k: 2), (97) ahodge84, (98) Tracey (k: 2), (99) thejudgement (k: 2), (100) LLLL, (101) Raz, (102) Reginator, (103) willis30, (104) NorthHawk, (105) darkhighlord, (106) crosfyter (p: 2), (107) fantonac (p: 3), (108) OddOscar, who also notes: "It likes to hide.", (109) walshy317, (110) Cory_lover (k: 2), who also notes: "Bought 2 lovely juveniles, but they're in a 4ft tank with lots of bogwood, and since then, have rarely seen them - extremely nocturnal!", (111) wonderdognc, (112) Wiccatfish (k: 6), (113) Freddy (p: 2), (114) Hoyo12, (115) Argentum, (116) jippo, (117) b.price, (118) Shovelnose, (119) guppyman, (120) jprp (k: 2), (121) Martin S, (122) lnumbers63 (k: 2), who also notes: "As at 25/10/2009 have only recently acquired them. Saw these beautiful fish being caught in a book on catfish years ago and became interested in them. Have hardly seen them since I got them but they seem to be doing well. ", (123) tcarrier, (124) arcsb, (125) Andie6, (126) ayrtoninst (k: 133), (127) astinus, (128) stuart henson, (129) JamieH, (130) Back (k: 2), (131) pickles4601, (132) Serian, (133) Djthomas, (134) dpk2313, (135) nicki, (136) coelacanth, (137) markhinch, (138) judeblackburn, (139) diane, (140) steve_ansell1, (141) Mike C (p: 2, k: 6), (142) mattholmes320, (143) huskybz91, (144) ichtyophile (k: 2), (145) smitty (k: 2), who also notes: "5/17/2012- Measured 7 inches", (146) miles3, (147) bongthecgb, (148) knifegill, (149) d3n2 (k: 3), (150) electrophyste (k: 3), (151) Kenny Tay, who also notes: "Very cute when well fed and bloated with food. Never seen to stop eating at all even in the day. Grew from 1" to 5" in 7 mths!", (152) salvador60, (153) theviper06 (k: 2), who also notes: "Teeny & Tiny", (154) MichaelC95, (155) TheFishGuy (p: 2), (156) TRD, who also notes: "Got this of a friend about a year ago since it kept eating all other bottom dwelling fishes. Including his ancistrus.", (157) chubbikins (k: 2), (158) sawilson2003, (159) tspaceace68, (160) jnakers, (161) tijani, (162) guardianfyre, (163) rhibear, (164) robb harriston (k: 3), (165) djechoskittykat (p: 2), (166) Bernie, who also notes: "He is at least 15+ years old. Five inches long. I wonder how long they live?", (167) NC24 (k: 9), (168) Mezel (p: 2), (169) Brisch, (170) mulley (k: 2), (171) Beth, (172) chimp, (173) hankinswood, (174) MMK1996, (175) Shaun, (176) bund, (177) Quo, (178) tropicalfishlover, (179) arapaimag (k: 2), (180) crkinney (k: 2), (181) nerdoutlaw, (182) kp90, (183) maximus (k: 2), who also notes: "Feeding tetra bits , NLS Thera + A and Frozen Bloodworms", (184) linden09, (185) browny85, (186) TheInfamous, who also notes: "Not very active. Hides between stones flat on the substrate. Very peaceful.", (187) cdc069, (188) Seagirt (k: 2), who also notes: "These two get along well as long as each has their own separate place to go to.", (189) tropical (p: 2), (190) wendy333, (191) bigamefish, (192) Catfish freak, (193) banuisce, (194) Armoured-Heads, (195) vb75, (196) Margie, (197) francistrus (k: 2), (198) Mcjlance, (199) transporter42, (200) jimlaroche83 (k: 2), (201) Blackguard, (202) raphael.catfish, (203) slimrs, (204) Anthonyck (k: 2), who also notes: "6/13: Very active during feeding, any time of day. Mingling well with tank mates, and already noticeably bigger in two weeks,", (205) SonoAngel (p: 2, k: 4), who also notes: "After 4 years in tank the female finally comming out in daylight. The male still very shy, mostly nocturnal.", (206) johnarmstrong, (207) Doras (k: 3), (208) shano6084, (209) FerocactusLatispinus, who also notes: "R.I.P. Ebenezer "Scrooge". The cutest of the cats. :(", (210) rcjkirk, (211) DGR1980, who also notes: "Not sure on background of this cat as it came with the tank", (212) Superfins, (213) turfboss, who also notes: "In tank with 15 Demasoni juvies and 1 Asian Algae Eater", (214) theguy40267, (215) syno-kev, (216) stealth77, (217) wirikwiri, (218) fahaka, (219) Iiriva, (220) Misiak (k: 3), (221) shoegazer (k: 2), (222) linuxrulesusa (k: 2), (223) DKcincy, (224) Jass, (225) SirCastic, (226) the pleco guy (p: 3), (227) PlecosAndLoaches, (228) stephen.mabwa, (229) Kongstedt (k: 6), (230) keig0006 (k: 2), (231) MrDimmu, (232) Psy (k: 4), (233) MrsJP (p: 2), (234) nattt33 (k: 2), (235) robertsindyrat, (236) slayer5590, who also notes: "Moved the largest one into my 120 on 12/3/2015 Lost 1 on 1/11/2016.", (237) bullseyejoey4, (238) p44236, (239) summoner2183 (k: 2), (240) Rebah, (241) PlecoMad (k: 2), who also notes: "Sale within UK only", (242) JessM315, (243) schant, (244) BlackSouL, (245) Amneris3, (246) ad88 (k: 2), (247) Sean B, (248) emacartoon (p: 2, k: 6), who also notes: "Good hardy fish. Lots of personality.. When they're not sleeping.", "All are accounted for and have grown immensely.", (249) nicofish, (250) dmcat (k: 2), (251) Divemaster, (252) French47, (253) Igor Hotasi Simamora (k: 13), (254) TuCanSam, (255) jodilynn, who also notes: "Sadly, the worker at the pet store was very rough when removing "Ralph" from the net, very banged up, hopefully the little guy pulls through. Update: Lost Ralph, got "Lighning" and employee no longer works in Fish Dept at LFS. Update: Now in the 55, nearly tripled in size, rarely if ever see him, spends his days in the big log with my spotted Raphael and a very annoyed Synodontis Decorus who feels the log should be his and not theirs. Update: When I do see him, he looks well fed and happy. Still fighting with the syno!", (256) CL27, (257) thecameraguy, (258) CatWhat, (259) KGlo, who also notes: "A pretty interesting fish. A little bit territorial. Loves to hide and dig.", (260) mark24, (261) greenterror66, (262) Shaydee1990, (263) chewy922, (264) segy, (265) in_the_seance, (266) rcbows (k: 2), (267) Malek (k: 3), (268) Johnny579, (269) miniloo78, who also notes: "I love this fish, we call it bug, its eaten its fair share of other smaller fish, but as a rule hides in full site under the biggest bit of bog wood, bug shares a community tank with no real problems other then the odd disaperence. Resently changed the food feed to this tank bug seem contented. 8yrs and going strong.", (270) zn30, (271) PurecoYSS (k: 2), who also notes: "One has deformed head, which does not appear to affect him(?) at all.", (272) Arron_N, (273) ebrehe, (274) JonathanReid, (275) Fishkeeperneo, (276) TheDoctor, who also notes: "I have had him for quite some time the shop i bought him from for £4.99 does not exist anymore he was moved because he tried to deep throat one of the other fish was able to get it out of his mouth but alas for the fish in question it was too late and as my father bought me said catfish I could not part with him so i moved him to the then empty spare Tank he gets on with the midsized common plec he tolerates the Pangasius to a degree but he has changed his hiding place so i guess they have been pestering him as all they do all day long is sit around doing nothing only occasionally moving they did the same in the bigger tank so at a loss why these ones do not act like The Sutchi's I had growing up into my late teens ?", (277) sparklycharley, (278) turtle lover, (279) Catfishlady (k: 2), (280) Jordanlewis100, who also notes: "Likes to hide in cave but always comes out at feeding times and eats almost anything I put in tank", (281) FreshwaterQWERTY, (282) ChocolateCatfish, (283) cowturtle, (284) joshuasmith94, (285) raphie, (286) flatdog (p: 2), (287) Gallywags, (288) Beminus (k: 2), (289) mcaquatic, (290) Reteos, (291) Rhomadeas.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 1999 July
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Last Update2014 Oct 03 05:47 (species record created: 2001 Apr 28 00:00)