Cat-eLog Right Arrow Auchenipteridae Right Arrow Auchenipterinae Right Arrow Asterophysus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameAsterophysus batrachus  Kner, 1858
Common NamesGulper Catfish
Ogre Catfish, Stormundet Rovmalle (Denmark)
Type LocalityMarabitanos, Brazil.
PronunciationAss TERR oh fye suss - bat RACK uss
EtymologyAsterophysus: From the Greek aster, meaning star and physa, meaning bellows; in reference to the blind viliform processes around the periphery of the swimbladder characteristic of this genus. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 280mm or 11" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationThe trapdoor like 'salmonesque' lower jaw is this species best external / visual characteristic.
SexingThe leading rays of the male's anal fin are fused to form a urinogenital organ used (at least in related genera) in internal fertilization of the female. This modification of the anal fin does not manifest itself until the male is approaching adulthood.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSouth America: Orinoco and Rio Negro basins.
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH5.6 - 7.0
Temperature24.0-29.0°C or 75.2-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersA blackwater species.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingThese fish will literally try and eat anything. Krill appears a real favourite, but all foods are accepted. The fish becomes more active during the day when not recently fed, feeding should be as with large pimelodids, less and less frequent with age. You would expect to feed an adult weekly. This may not be possible in tanks where the fish is kept with other species and so the fish should be fed smaller regular portions of food which may reduce its activity during the day.
FurnitureThe fish like to rest and hide in driftwood piles during the day but should be given at least 3 quarters of the aquarium as open swimming room for nocturnal prowling. Tall plants can also be used to coax the fish out during daylight feeding time in less stark surroundings. Choice of substrate is unimportant.
CompatibilityObviously care is required in housing fish with this species. Fish large enough not to be eaten but non-predatory to the point they will not eat the Asterophysus.
Suggested TankmatesFish large enough not to be eaten (amazingly for this species, this means at least twice the size of the Asterophysus, larger is less risky) but non-predatory to the point they will not eat the Asterophysus. Larger characins, doradids and loricariids are probably the best bet.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesSitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wienv. 26 (s. 373) - pp403 [33] - Pl. 5 (figs. 13-15)
Registered Keepers(1) CFC (k: 2), (2) daniel60, (3) Lutt (k: 3), (4) soltarii007, (5) KenyanSandBoa (k: 2), (6) Koltsix (k: 2), who also notes: "Another one of my favorite fish. Easy to keep and easy to hand feed.", (7) ani-mal-lvr (k: 2), who also notes: "Just picked these guys up on 2-16-08", (8) SuperLaz, (9) RayGnz, (10) Gulper (k: 2), (11) ryguy713, (12) raymgnz215, (13) miles3, (14) arapaimag (k: 6), (15) Apostolis (p: 2, k: 4), (16) festaedan, (17) Nolapete, (18) cory-ap2, (19) angerygrover.

Click on a username above to see all that persons registered catfish species. You can also view all "my cats" data for this species.
Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2004 August
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 18:55 (species record created: 2002 Nov 11 00:00)