Cat-eLog Right Arrow Callichthyidae Right Arrow Corydoradinae Right Arrow Corydoras

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Corydoras leucomelas  Eigenmann & Allen, 1942
Common Names Panzerwels (Germany)
Sortfinnet Pansermalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Yarina cocha, cutoff lake at right bank of Río Pacaya, near Sarayacu, about 5°15'S, 74°15'W, Upper Amazon, Peru.
Pronunciation Kory DOOR ass - look oh MELL uss
Etymology Cory = helmet, doras = skin. In this case it was incorrectly used to mean armour (cuirasse) instead of skin in allusion to the dual rows of plates that run along the flanks of this genus. The specific epithet, leucomelas means ''with white and black''.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 55mm or 2.2" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Corydoras are identified by their twin rows of armour plates along the flanks and by having fewer than 10 dorsal fin rays. They are most commonly confused with the other genera in the sub-family, namely Brochis, Scleromystax and Aspidoras.

A very easy fish to misidentify as it is often captured alongside the similar species C. agassizii and C. ambiacus and C. gomezi. C. gomezi has a distinct black spot on the dorsal, C. ambiacus grows larger and lacks the distinct ''mask'' marking through the eye and C. agassizii also lacks the ''mask'' and has much less black on the dorsal. Expect to find these four spp. mixed in many Amazonian Corydoras shipments.
Sexing Females grow larger and are more full-bodied, this is best observed from above the fish. Males will typically have more pointed as opposed to more rounded fin tips as they mature.
General Remarks C. leucomelas is known amongst collectors in the Amazon as ''Maldito'' (the little damned Cory) because it is so common that it brings a very low price. As of 2003, collectors in Leticia, Colombia received U.S $7.00 for every 1,000 C. leucomelas they sold to Bogota exporters. It is still collected, however, as many thousand can be captured in a few hours since it is always found in very large schools.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution One of, if not the, most common of the upper Amazonian Corydoras sp. This species is common throughout the main river channel and several smaller tributaries in the Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Colombian Amazon. It can also be found as far downriver as Tabatinga, Brazil. Most commercial collection takes place in Peru and at Leticia, Colombia.
Amazon, Upper Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Upper Amazon, Yavari (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 5.6 - 7.0
Temperature 25.0-26.5°C or 77-79.7°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Predominately found in black waters.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivore. Happily takes dry, frozen, and live foods.
Furniture In nature, found over mud substrates in blackwaters. In the aquarium they prefer a sand substrate and enjoy hiding among plants, rocks, and driftwood.
Compatibility Compatible with tankmates of any size. This species is always found in large schools and a minimum of four individuals is recommended. In the Rio Yavari, Peru they were captured alongside Rineloricaria, Loricaria, and spotted raphaels.
Suggested Tankmates All Corydoras should be kept in groups of at least 6 of the same species. Otherwise compatible with most other types of fish that are reasonably peaceful, as long as they don't see a Corydoras as a snack.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Fishes West. S. America - pp178 - Pl. 12 (fig. 4)
Seuess, W. 1993. Corydoras: The most popular armored catfishes of South America. 218pp.
Lambourne, D. 1995. Corydoras Catfish: An aquarist's Handbook. 127pp.
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Last Update 2013 Feb 03 15:46 (species record created: 2001 Apr 30 00:00)