Cat-eLog Right Arrow Doradidae Right Arrow Doradinae Right Arrow Hemidoras

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameHemidoras stenopeltis  (Kner, 1855)
Common NameMouse Catfish
Type LocalityRio Negro, Amazon system, Brazil.
Synonym(s)Doras stenopeltis
EtymologyHemidoras: From the Greek hemi, meaning half, and doras, meaning skin (also a word commonly used in forming generic names for doradids); in reference to the similarity to Doras (another doradid genus). 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 194mm or 7.6" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThe black top mouse catfish is very similar to another mouse catfish, Nemadoras leporhinus, the main visual difference being the latter's clear dorsal fin with a black marking at its base. Aside from that N. leporhinus has longer leading fin rays. Key characters are deep plates, pointed humeral process (vs. rounded in Leptodoras), short pointed snout, plates along back (also along ventral midline before anal fin) and tip of dorsal fin dipped in black.
SexingAdult males have what seems to be an enlarged dorsal spine. This is however a filament (as for instance can be seen in Synodontis decora). Females lack this feature.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSouth America: Rio Amazonas basin common in the area around Iquitos, Peru.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH6.0 - 7.6
Temperature22.0-25.5°C or 71.6-77.9°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingUntil acclimatized, the fish appears quite selective and like small foods. Crushed flake or sinking flake-based tablets best for smaller individuals although brineshrimp is taken by species around the 2'' mark. Larger, more settled fish are easier to feed and become very active during feeding.
FurnitureDense vegetation empowers this fish with a much needed sense of confidence in its surroundings. Caves or dark refuges appear less important.
CompatibilityNot aggressive and, as with all Doradids, sociable with its own species. Smaller fish appear to have an innate fear of larger fish and becomes very shy in their presence.
Suggested TankmatesShoaling tetras and Brochis are ideal. Dwarf cichlids and smaller labyrinth fish (Gouramis etc) are also suitably gentile. Larger, acclimatized fish will do well in a medium to large community set-up. At any size, best kept in shoals to ensure greater boldness and health.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesSitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wienv. 17 - pp142 [53] - Pl. 4 (fig. 7)
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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2000 November
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Last Update2015 Oct 25 08:34 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)