Cat-eLog Right Arrow Pimelodidae Right Arrow Sorubimichthys

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Sorubimichthys planiceps  (Spix & Agassiz, 1829)
Common Names Firewood Catfish
Acha Cubo (Peruvian), Cabo De Hacha (Colombian), Doncella (Venezuelan), Guerevere (Peruvian), Paletona (Venezuelan), Peixe-lenha (Brazilian), Spatelwels (Germany), Økseskaftmalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Amazon R., Solimoes, Rio Negro.
Synonym(s) Platystoma planiceps, Platystoma spatula, Pteroglanis manni, Sorubim jandia, Sorubimichthys ortoni, Sorubimichthys spatula
Pronunciation saw rue bim ick thees - pla neh seps
Etymology Sorubi is the Brazilian local name for this fish (and several other pimelodids) +(Greek)ichthys=fish. The specific epithet, planiceps meaning flathead.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 1600mm or 63" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Body has an overall cylindrical shape. Very flattened head. Large long caudal fin. In large specimens the upper jaw surpasses the lower. Overall coloration and color pattern varies greatly over the animal's range, but the fish generall has a broad cream stripe reaching from the gill cover to the caudal peduncle. This light colored stripe may or may not be bordered by darker stripes.
Sexing Unknown. Overall adults sizes for females are reported as larger than those of males.
General Remarks The largest specimen reported from the Amazon was 1.5 meters; Puerto Lopez, Colombia 1.6 meters; Rio Caqueta 97 cm. Considered ''Vulnerable'' to extinction due to overfishing by commercial fisheries. Average adult size captured by commercial fisheries has declined in recent years and now averages under one meter. In Puerto Carreno, on the Rio Orinoco, 5.5 tons of S. planiceps were harvested in 2001. Under Colombian law, specimens under 95 cm may not be retained. This would also make the small specimens imported for the aquarium trade illegal. Sadly, this law is rarely enforced.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Found throughout the Orinoco, Guaviare, Meta, Metica, Guayabero, Amazon, Putumayo, and Caqueta basins. The wide varity of color patterns and reported adult sizes from these different drainages suggest that this is either a vary variable species or S. planiceps represents a complex of similar species and/or subspecies.
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco, Upper Orinoco, Guaviare (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco, Upper Orinoco, Guaviare, Guayabero (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Japurá, Caquetá (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco, Middle Orinoco, Meta (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco, Middle Orinoco, Meta, Metica (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Upper Amazon, Putumayo (click on these areas to find other species found there)

Log in to view species occurence data on a map.
pH 6.0 - 7.6
Temperature 24.0-28.0°C or 75.2-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Normally found in whitewaters high in suspended sediments.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A voracious predator that consumes other fishes.
Furniture With an adult size reaching almost five feet, this fish would require a massive tank. The substrate should be sand with large stones and driftwood providing hiding places. The water current should be strong with a high oxygen content.
Compatibility Other fishes with similar water requirements that are too large to be swallowed whole.
Suggested Tankmates Other large catfishes of the families Pimelodidae or Doradidae.
Breeding Unreported. Juveniles appear during the onset of the rainy season.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Selecta Piscium Brasiliam - pp25 - Pl. 12
Barthem R. and M. Goulding (1997) The Catfish Connection; Ecology, Migration, and Conservation of Amazon Predators. Columbia University Press.
Mojica et al. (2002) Libro rojo de peces dulceacuicolas de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Romano B. (no date) Peces de Aqua Dulce de Venezuela. Fundacion Cientifica Fluvial de Los Llanos.
Registered Keepers Keeping this species? Why not .
There are 16 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
Wishlists Love this species? Click the heart to add it to your wish list.
There are 2 wishes to keep this species, see who wants what.
Spotters Spotted this species somewhere? Click the binoculars!
There are 7 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
More on Sorubimichthys planiceps
Look up Look up Sorubimichthys planiceps on
BBCode (use in forum posts)
(species permalink)
Look up Fishbase Look up Sorubimichthys planiceps on Fishbase
Get or print a QR code for this species profile, or try our LFS label creator.
Hits 34827 hits.
Last Update 2013 Jul 19 14:09 (species record created: 2001 Apr 22 00:00)