Cat-eLog Right Arrow Pimelodidae Right Arrow Sorubim

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSorubim lima  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Common NamesLima Shovelnose
Duck-beak Catfish, Duckbill Catfish, Hockey Stick Catfish, Lsn, Spademalle (Denmark), Spatelwels (Germany)
Type LocalityRio Maranham, Brazil.
Synonym(s)Platystoma lima, Platystoma luceri, Silurus lima, Sorubim latirostris
Pronunciationsarw oo bim - lee mah
EtymologySorubi is the Brazilian local name for this fish (and several other pimelodids), latinised to become Sorubim. This specific epithet literally means "a file" (lima=a file) and refers to its exposed pre-maxillary tooth patch.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 505mm or 19.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationNo other pimelodid genus possesses a dark horizontal stripe stretching entire length of head and body.

Some fish grow larger (particularly in the wild) than the size given here perhaps indicating a difference between the sexes or a group of species.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSorubim lima is widely distributed throughout most of South America east of the Andes mountain range, including the Amazon, Orinoco, Paraná and Parnaíba river drainages. It is syntopic with S. elongatus in the Orinoco basin and with S. elongatus and S. maniradii in the upper Amazon drainage of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
Amazon (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)
pH6.2 - 7.2
Temperature23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersTo best replicate this fish's natural habitat the water should be neutral and soft.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingCarnivore that can be trained to accept most foods but patience is often required in this regard. Younger fish are more adaptable to new foods.
FurnitureLarge pieces of driftwood placed so as to form "tree roots". This effect is easily accomplished by attaching suction cups to the driftwood and "sticking" the wood to the back and sides of the tank. Plants will have to be chosen carefully as S. lima will sometimes dig.
CompatibilityPredatory and thus unsafe with anything small enough to be eaten, but otherwise very peaceful.
Suggested TankmatesThey are quite sociable as big cats go and it is possible to keep a group of these catfish in one tank. Three Lima shovelnoses would do well as a group in a large enough tank. This is especially true if all three are raised in the same tank together. Other tankmates must be chosen with great care. Large cichlids could be experimented with, but should not be aggressive species. Large plecos and other catfishes would be great tank-mates.
BreedingThe Lima shovel nose has not been bred in captivity. There is one report that a pair laid eggs in a nest they constructed in the aquarium, but no fry hatched.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesSystema Ichthyol. - pp384
Zootaxa 1422:1-29
Registered Keepers(1) TP (k: 4), (2) synoguy (k: 2), (3) natefrog, (4) CFC, (5) daniel60, (6) Daniel Machado, (7) Lornek8, (8) Argentum (k: 3), (9) roy.bryan, (10) bukster, (11) Chi-Chi, (12) amiidae, (13) ani-mal-lvr, (14) amazonfishman (k: 3), (15) joe.juice13, (16) Kimmy73b, (17) Moosipher, (18) necrocanis, (19) doesdavid, (20) funkyj1313, (21) Sumners83 (p: 2), (22) Schmike, (23) tezr, (24) kameko, (25) jprp, (26) Redtailrob (k: 2), (27) GW_NL (k: 7), (28) Back (p: 2, k: 3), (29) Viktor Jarikov, who also notes: "Having hard time weaning off of live feeder fish but success appears in the view - danggling pieces of raw shrimp was met with partial success.", (30) jscoggs27, (31) steve_ansell1, (32) drgnfrc13 (p: 2), (33) musilvr4eva, (34) Sktchy, (35) Benjamin Goh, (36) browny85, (37) 2poc, (38) Hedorah (k: 2), (39) Pcpolo111, (40) merit, (41) miguel mitchel, (42) boostedhemi, (43) Pestey, (44) liamirons, (45) robertsindyrat, (46) xShovelnose, who also notes: "The lima shovel nose is awesome! mine hand feeds and has a lot of interesting behaviors! Got him as a birthday present.", (47) CL27, (48) thecameraguy, (49) rcbows (k: 2), (50) urcysk, (51) Nolapete, (52) Hrothgar Sørensen, (53) Fishmandavew.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 1999 June
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 18:02 (species record created: 2001 Apr 22 00:00)