Cat-eLog Right Arrow Doradidae Right Arrow Doradinae Right Arrow Acanthodoras

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameAcanthodoras cataphractus  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common NamesChocolate Talking Catfish
Chocolate Raphael, Gemeiner Dornwels (Germany), Milky Catfish
Type LocalityAmerica.
Synonym(s)Callichthys asper, Cataphractus americanus, Doras blochii, Silurus cataphractus
Pronunciationah KAN tho door ass - cat ah frak tuss
EtymologyAcanthodoras: 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.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 115mm or 4.5" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThe 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.
SexingFemales typically larger with a more full, or 'plump', appearance.
General RemarksThe 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.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionIn tributaries of the main rivers in Amazon River basin, coastal drainages of French Guiana and Suriname: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru 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)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
pH6.4 - 7.4
Temperature22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersThere 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.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingAn opportunistic feeder that eats live, frozen and dry aquarium foods. It usually only comes out to feed after lights out.
FurnitureA 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.
CompatibilityA 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 TankmatesAnything but the smallest species. Good with other doradids. A peaceful community resident.
BreedingAcanthodoras 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.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesSystema Nat. ed. 10v. 1 - pp307
Burgess, W. E. (1989) An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine Catfishes. TFH.
Registered Keepers(1) TP, (2) kcmt01, (3) Silurus, (4) Daniel Machado, (5) lene.keiserud, (6) pressureflip, (7) catfish hippy man DS (p: 2), (8) Martin S, (9) ali12345 (k: 2), (10) Reginator, (11) jippo, (12) Greggyfest (k: 4), (13) Junttis, (14) Bijn (k: 4), (15) Industrial, (16) NC24, (17) wrasse (k: 3), who also notes: "Amazing... pattern, spikey, spiney, armour. Eats anything", (18) Phyllonemus, (19) jac (k: 5), (20) Tamcon83 (k: 2), (21) FerocactusLatispinus, (22) Peixes (k: 2), (23) catfishchaos (k: 2), who also notes: "Much more secretive than my Agamyxis pectinifrons, only seen feeding atfer the lights are out and seem to hide within close proximity of one another.", (24) Flatdog, (25) Chris helland.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2007 May
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 14:23 (species record created: 2001 Jun 03 00:00)