Cat-eLog Right Arrow Loricariidae Right Arrow Loricariinae Right Arrow Pseudohemiodon

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NamePseudohemiodon apithanos  Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1978
Common Name(s)Chameleon Whiptail
Type LocalityRío Conejo, trib. of Río San Miguel, vicinity of Santa Cecilia, 0°06'N, 76°51'W, Napo Prov., Ecuador.
Pronunciationseu doh hem ee oh don - ah pith ah noss
EtymologyGreek, pseudes = false + Greek, hemi = half + Greek, odous = teeth The specific name apithanos (Greek) means incredible, an allusion to the variability in colour pattern, which is unique among its numerous sub-familial relatives.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 180mm or 7.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationA striking and unmistakable fish. I will change colour to virtually all black when disturbed. Normal colouration is a light grey background with a black line that runs from snout, between the eyes and broadens into a band around the dorsal area. Another band appears along the back and the tail fin is black.
SexingMature males will develop their lower lips to allow them to carry egg clutches. Other signs of sexual dimorphism are probably present in mature males but remain, as yet, unreported.
General RemarksCollected in typical whitewater (pH of 7.2, 27°C) of the Rio Itaya south of Iquitos, Peru - this species is typically exported from Iquitos.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionEcuador / Peru
South America: San Miquel River basin, western Amazon River drainage.
Amazon, Upper Amazon, Putumayo, San Miguel (Ecuador) (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH6.4 - 7.6
Temperature26.0-28.0°C or 78.8-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersWater should be fairly soft.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingAlgae wafers, sinking tablets, frozen bloodworm and frozen brineshrimp are all sought out.
FurnitureLarge open expanses of sand are required, at least the length of the fish squared. Floating plants will help the fish settle but are not mandatory. Rooted plants will not stay that way for long however. This species is also found in light leaf litter over sand, this may provide a clue as to the 'chameleon' attributes of the fish.
CompatibilityPeaceful and not territorial even among it's own kind.
BreedingAt least one account is documented, as with all members of this genus, it is a lip-brooder.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesBeaufortia v. 27 (no. 339) - pp195 - Figs. 6-8
Registered Keepers(1) daniel60, (2) chris 1, (3) jc, (4) saltcop (k: 6), who also notes: "New batch of juveniles about 3"-4" long.", (5) Dixen (DK), (6) oanes (k: 3), who also notes: "Ive never seen anything like these. Mine are 2" but are already stunning. Its rare to have a catfish who is out during the day, but these do not seek cover while they sleep. They have a sand substrate but they do not seem to be terribly interested in covering themselves. Perhaps the sand is too dense for them. Adding some trumpet snails this evening to help loosen up and aerate the sand. *btw these guys already have a 40g breeder tank (36x18 floor) waiting for them in case they need more bottom surface to swim around on when they grow out!", (7) Norman (k: 4), (8) arapaimag, (9) NielsV (k: 14), (10) Tchitchou44, (11) zipper, (12) altum, (13) Apostolis (k: 2), (14) jac (p: 2, k: 25), (15) Stuey, (16) Mruaru, (17) Juiceyfish, (18) parrot1974 (k: 2), (19) nerdworks (k: 2), who also notes: "One of the coolest cats I've ever seen.....", (20) jamesleagas, (21) briankchung, (22) Andrewjw (k: 8), (23) CodOnMyRod, (24) Tamcon83 (k: 5), (25) Allen Repashy, (26) catfishchaos (k: 6), who also notes: "Awesome fish with fascinating "walking" and burrowing behavior!", (27) grayfox44 (k: 4), who also notes: "Still too young to spawn", (28) CharlieM9, (29) DHarris, (30) Xingu23, (31) john h, (32) Koen (k: 3), (33) Healingeagle.

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Breeding Reports(1) CodOnMyRod (b: 48), (2) Norman (b: 27).
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Last Update2010 Nov 14 06:48 (species record created: 2001 Apr 25 00:00)