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Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Acanthodoras cataphractus  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Names Chocolate Talking Catfish
Chocolate Raphael, Gemeiner Dornwels (Germany), Milky Catfish
Type Locality America (in error).
Synonym(s) Callichthys asper, Cataphractus americanus, Doras blochii, Silurus cataphractus
Pronunciation ah KAN tho door ass - cat ah frak tuss
Etymology Acanthodoras: From the Greek akantha, meaning thorn, and doras, meaning skin (also a word commonly used in forming generic names for doradids); in reference to the spines on the bony scutes along the lateral line. The species name, cataphracta/us, means armoured or mail-clad.
Article Link - CotM Right 2007 Right May
Down Species Information
Size 115mm or 4.5" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification The only genus of doradid with a fully rounded caudal fin.

This fish is almost never a direct import can be be found by the aquarist with a discerning eye as bycatch among shipments of the more common Platydoras armatulus (often labelled P. costatus). In P. armatulus, the white markings along the flank connect above the eyes forming a 'V.' The markings of A. cataphractus do not connect on the head. In P. armatulus, the white flank stripe continues down the body and onto the caudal fin. The caudal fin of A. cataphractus lacks the white stripe and is mottled.
Sexing Females typically larger with a more full, or 'plump', appearance.
General Remarks The above specimen on the right was captured using a ten foot seine net on the banks of a small Amazon tributary on the Peruvian side of the Amazon across from Leticia Colombia.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Amazon River basin and coastal drainages of French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Guyana Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Guyana Waters, Coastal Rivers of Guyanas, Suriname Coastal Rivers (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 6.4 - 7.4
Temperature 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters There are reports of this species from river mouth areas, but it is unlikely these are exported, those that do find their way into aquaria prefers softer water.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding An opportunistic feeder that eats live, frozen and dry aquarium foods. It usually only comes out to feed after lights out. User data.
Furniture A very shy retiring fish that, once released in the aquarium, is rarely seen again. Provide plenty of caves and other hiding places. In the wild, they typically hide among thickets of submerged plants.
Compatibility A good choice for the medium to large community tank. The above specimen was caught alongside the doradids Platydoras armatulus, Agamyxis pectinifrons, and Amblydoras hancockii in submerged terrestrial vegetation. Also collected at the site were Brochis splendens and several Corydoras spp.
Suggested Tankmates Anything but the smallest species. Good with other doradids. A peaceful community resident.
Breeding Acanthodoras cataphractus are documented as having been spawned in aquaria. Both parents were observed digging a depression in the substrate into which the eggs were deposited. The eggs were guarded by both fish. The eggs hatched after 4-5 days although unfortunately the young did not survive beyond the fry stage of development.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down Further Information
Reference Systema Naturae, Ed. X v. 1, pp 307.
Registered Keepers There are 30 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 19 02:34 (species record created: 2001 Jun 03 00:00)