Cat-eLog Right Pimelodidae Right Calophysus  |  | 

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Calophysus macropterus  (Lichtenstein, 1819)
Common Names Vulture Catfish
Bagre Machete (Venezuelan), Gribbemalle (Denmark), Mapurite (Venezuelan), Pintadinho (Brazilian), Piracatinga (Brazilian), Pirate Catfish, Zamurito (Venezuelan)
Type Locality Brazil.
Synonym(s) Pimeletropsis lateralis, Pimelodus ctenodus, Pimelodus macropterus
Pronunciation mack row terr uss
Article Link - CotM Right 2006 Right May
Article Link - Shane's World Right Species Right Calophysus macropterus, A "shark" in the freshwater aquarium
Down Species Information
Size 400mm or 15.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Body somewhat elongate and head broad. Eyes superior. Barbels flattened with maxillary pair extending past the end of the adipose fin. First dorsal and pectoral fin rays are 'soft'. Number of spots on the body varies greatly between populations.
General Remarks This fish has at times been placed in its own family, the Calophysidae. Although it externally looks much like other pimelodids its unique dentition, different positioning of the fins from other pimelodids, and reduced and encased swim bladder make it a distant relative of the other pimelodids.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Purus, Caeté (Acre) (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Nhamundá (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Madeira, Canumã, Sucundurí (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2020.
pH 6.0 - 7.4
Temperature 24.0-29.0°C or 75.2-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding An adaptable carnivore as the common name, 'vulture catfish' applies. User data.
Furniture Comfortable in almost any environment, including sturdy planted aquaria, provided it has sufficient hiding places.
Compatibility A true scavenger that is also a vicious predator. Its unique dentition allows it to bite other fishes and remove chunks of flesh. Often attacks the catch of fishermen while they are hooked or netted. This ability has given the name bagre matchete (machete catfish) in Venezuela and Colombia. They are so vicious in their attacks that they sometimes stay attached even when their prey is removed from the water.

Tankmates should be chosen with great care. While it appears this fish mainly attacks wounded fishes, it certainly has the ability to rip any tankmate to shreds should it desire to do so.
Suggested Tankmates Armored loricariids and doradids, larger fish such as cichlids.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down Further Information
Reference Zoologisches Magazin (Wiedemann) 1819, v. 1 (pt 3), pp 59.
Registered Keepers There are 25 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 11 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 16 01:39 (species record created: 2001 Apr 22 00:00)