Cat-eLog Right Arrow Doradidae Right Arrow Doradinae Right Arrow Pterodoras

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NamePterodoras granulosus  (Valenciennes in Humboldt & Valenciennes, 1821)
Common NamesGranulated Catfish
Armado (Venezuelan), Bacu (Brazilian), Common Bacu, Ru Tornmalle (Denmark)
Type LocalitySouth America.
Synonym(s)Doras granulosus
Pronunciationgran you LOW sus
EtymologyPterodoras: From the Greek pteron, meaning fin, and doras, meaning skin (also a word commonly used in forming generic names for doradids); in reference to the forked caudal fin. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 920mm or 36.2" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThe colour pattern of these catfish varies depending upon the location that they originate from. These fish are usually a muddy-brown colour with some darker spots over the body and fins. As these fish mature the spotting tends to fade. Juvenile specimens tend not to be as dark coloured as adult fish,
SexingThere are no reported external sexual differences. Personal observation shows that females tend to be more heavily built/robust than the males, which tend to be slender. There may also be differences associated with the structure of the head as with the Synodontis catfish, but further observations need to be made.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionWidespread throughout most of the larger river systems of South America.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
La Plata, Paraná (click on these areas to find other species found there)
La Plata, Uruguay, Lower Uruguay (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH6.4 - 7.6
Temperature20.0-24.0°C or 68-75.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersWamer water will be tolerated at least for a period of time. It is documented that keeping these fish in water with a pH value above 7.5 can cause skin and eye cloudiness.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingOmnivore feeding on a very mixed and varied diet including catfish pellets, earthworms, whole prawns, mussels, floating sticks/pellets and snails. In their natural environment they would feed upon snails, aquatic plants and fruits.
See also natural feeding behaviour paper in the references section.
FurnitureLarge pieces of bogwood are ideal. Large diameter pipe can be used but it should be large enough for the catfish to easily fit in without becoming stuck. I have managed to create two shady areas within my tropical pond, by covering the ends with decking, where these catfish prefer to hide until feeding time.
CompatibilityIdeally suited to life with other large fish. These catfish are not predatory but would mistakenly take a smaller fish if hungry.
Suggested TankmatesOther large catfish such as Leiarius, Megalodoras, Oscars and larger characins.
BreedingThere are no known aquarium spawnings of this catfish. This is most likely due to the size that these fish can attain and hence the subsequent size of aquarium in which to spawn them.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesHumboldt & Bonpland's voyagev. 2 (Title page 1833) - pp184
Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 99(3):301-306: Feeding behaviour of Pterodoras granulosus
Registered Keepers(1) arapaima, (2) Koltsix, (3) Junttis, (4) Dave Rinaldo (k: 2), (5) MADRacing, (6) SoCalDiscus, (7) Argentum, (8) mi-tatsu, (9) arapaimag (k: 3), (10) kp90 (k: 6), (11) capester, (12) Decker504, (13) BernieEcht, (14) luv4bigcats, (15) crazy4bettas, (16) liamirons, (17) JonathanReid, (18) monsterfishkeeper, (19) Hrothgar Sørensen.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2002 September
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 11:50 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)