Catfish of the Month Right Arrow October 2010 • Article © Ian Fuller, uploaded October 08, 2010



Aspidoras depinnai   Britto, 2000

Ian Fuller is one of the worlds most accomplished Corydoras breeders; what sets him apart from many of his peers is that he is also an international speaker, author and runs the successful corydorasworld.com site. He is also much of the driving force behind the UK's catfish study group. Sometimes I think there is actually more than one of him, as he clearly spends so much time and energy on his fascination with the subfamily corydoradinae. Therefore we're delighted that Ian takes some of this time to produce the following article feature on Aspidoras depinnai so that we can feature it this month.

Aspidoras depinnai is one of the smaller Aspidoras species, barely reaching 40mm standard length for a full-grown adult female; males rarely exceed 35mm SL.

Differentiating this species from other Aspidoras species can be a bit of a problem, as many do look very similar, however in this case they are a little easier to identify having four fairly large distinctive dark blotches along the centre of the body, the three rear most blotches having a secondary smaller blotch below. There is also a single dark broad horizontal band across the dorsal fin.

This is a very active species, which I have found is best kept in groups of at least six, preferably more, two males to each female being the optimum ratio, this ratio is definitely advantageous if you are intending on breeding them. As with most Corydoradinae species a fine smooth grained sand substrate is a must, along with some vegetation to give this little fish as near natural environment as possible. I tend to use potted Anubias coffeefolia a very dark leaved species that does not need a lot of light to be able to grow well and free floating clumps of Java Moss.

Another thing that is also important and this is the case with many if not all Aspidoras species, is that there should be plenty of movement in the water. Most species are found in fast flowing streams and when breeding the females tend to favour depositing their eggs in areas where the water is most turbulent. This was certainly the case when I first spawned them in November 2008, one of the two females deposited all her eggs in the uplift tube of the air driven sponge filter and for a subsequent spawning I created a small waterfall using an outside hang on filter, where upon both females deposited all of their eggs on the sloping out run of the filter, which was about 12 mm above the surface of the water in the spawning tank itself. This meant that the females had to swim up the out flow and onto the ramp to place their eggs. An ingenious evolvement I thought as in this position the eggs would be safe from most water born predators and probably with the rippling of the water they would be very hard to be seen by birds from above.

This is an ideal species for the smaller aquarium and compared to some of its congeners it is quite outgoing and not so skittish as many others. They are however quite secretive when it comes to the act of mating, which I found out after watching them for several hours, trying to get images of the intimate act. Most of the mating took place under the clumps of Java moss and only once did they venture out into the open.

One important thing to remember with this and other Aspidoras species is because of their liking to swim up into on coming water flows, they can and often do swim up the corners of their tanks and if there are any gaps, can swim straight out of the tank altogether.


Copyright information for the images used in this article can be found on the species' full Cat-eLog page.

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameAspidoras depinnai  Britto, 2000
Common Name
Type LocalityCreek at Amaraji-Primavera road, rio Ipojuca basin, 8°21'S, 35°26'W, Pernambuco State, Brazil.
Pronunciationass pee DOOR ass
EtymologyAspidoras: From the Greek aspis, meaning shield and doras, meaning skin; in reference to the bony plates. Named to honour Dr. Mário de Pinna.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 40mm or 1.6" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationDiffers from its congeners in having bifid serrations restricted to distal tip on ossified portion of pectoral spine posterior border (versus single or bifid serrations along entire posterior border) and presence of irregular arclike brown blotch on caudal peduncle (versus absence). Head with an irregular row of minute pores.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSouth America: Ipojuca River basin, Brazil.
Southern Atlantic Draining Rivers, North East Brazil Coastal Rivers, Pernambucu state waters, Ipojuca (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)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
BreedingUnreported.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesCopeia 2000 (no. 4) 1049 Figs. 1-5
Registered Keepers(1) kim m, (2) jodilynn, who also notes: "VERY lovely little fish, very active. A joy to have! Eats everything, even snatching flakes out of mid-water. I have never seen them offered since so I am glad I got the one I did.".

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Last Update2007 May 27 07:02 (species record created: 2010 Oct 08 14:07)

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