Catfish of the Month Right Arrow November 2009

CW121, Amapa State Cory, Amapa Cory, Pirate Cory, Piratpansermalle (Denmark) - Corydoras (ln1) amapaensis   Nijssen, 1972

Article © Ian Fuller, uploaded November 06, 2009.

I am indebted again to Ian Fuller, once again, for giving us an excellent CotM article in, and some ways, a sequel to the previous one for Corydoras simulatus. This article has been with me for a long time, and solely due to my inattention, has languished at the rarely disturbed bottom of my email inbox. That situation I've now put right and here is another excellent article from a true expert in his field.

For a long time there was a lot of confusion as to what was the true Corydoras amapaensis and for a long time one colour form of Corydoras simulatus Weitzman & Nijssen, 1970 was thought to be Corydoras amapaensis, but it was not until around the middle of 2003 that they were brought out of Suriname by German aquarists. There at two other species with colour pattern close to Corydoras amapaensis and these are Corydoras solox Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1983 and Corydoras geoffroy LaCépède, 1803. Separating the three is relatively easy; Corydoras amapaensis is the only one that does not posses a third pair of rectal barbels. It is the shape of the head that differentiates Corydoras amapaensis from Corydoras geoffroy; the former has a typical saddle shaped snout and in the latter the head is deeper and snout shape straighter with a broader heavier appearance.

I first successfully bred and raised Corydoras amapaensis in October 2004 after I obtained a group of first generation tank bred fishes. I have found Corydoras amapaensis to be fairly adaptable, tolerating a variety of aquarium conditions including quite a wide temperature range, which can be as low as 68F and as high as 85ºF. The preferred temperature seemed to be between 72º to 78ºF. Being a long saddle snouted species the one thing that they do like is a fine substrate, the finer the better. I use well-washed river sand, which is smooth and rounded, a little like tiny pebbles, which do not cause any damage to barbels when the fish are sifting through it in their constant search for food particles. Just like all of the long snouted species Corydoras amapaensis spends a great deal of their time buried headfirst in the substrate.

Corydoras amapaensis are best kept in small groups of six or seven, at a ratio of two or three males to every female. The reason for this is because during the courting activity when only pairs are involved, the male will often give up before the female is fully aroused. When several males are used they will compete with each other for a female’s attention and then when the female has been fully aroused she in turn will pick the strongest or most persistent of the males to mate with. The down side of using several males is, and this is a typical characteristic with most if not all of the long snouted species, they tend to be territorial and even more so around breeding time with squabbles very often breaking out. Sometimes these fights, which can become quite violent, occur between equally matched males and the danger here is that quite serious damage may be inflicted. So at the first signs of courting activity, which starts by several of the males pestering and hovering around a roed up female, a careful watch is needed to avoid any serious injuries from occurring. The males use their pectoral fin spines like scythes and try to inflict damage to each other by using a side swiping action, attempting to insert the spine in behind the gill cover (Operculum). More often than not once two fish have mated the next time the female comes into breeding condition, she will usually mate with the same male.

Mating follows the typical Corydoras ‘T’ formation, mating clinches which starts when the male offers himself in a quivering sideways position to the female. After she has nuzzled into his side, the male holds the female against his side by clamping her barbels with his pectoral fin, this grip is maintained until he has stopped quivering. At this point the male releases his grip. While the female is still in the grip of the male’s pectoral spine, she will deposit her eggs, which may be from 2 to 9 in number, into a pouch formed by clamping her ventral fins together. Once she has been released from the male’s grip, the female will rest for a few seconds, then she will spend a little time in deciding where to deposit her small cluster of eggs. In the case of Corydoras amapaensis eggs are usually deposited in a variety of sites ranging from in amongst the fronds of Java Moss, spawning mops, larger plant leaves and the sides of the tank. The eggs take four to five days to hatch depending on the temperature, the emerging fry are free swimming in another two to three days, at which time they are large enough to be fed on regular small amounts of micro worm, followed by alternate feedings of brine shrimp or pre soaked fine powdered flake foods. The fry like most of the long snouted species that I have bred, are fairly slow growing and need a constant supply of quality food and regular water changes if they are to achieve and maintain an optimum growth rate.

Water parameters: pH: 6.7 GH: 7 KH: 1 Temp 76ºF
Eggs Size - 1.1 mm dia. Adhesion — 4 out of 10

Down arrow Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Corydoras (ln1) amapaensis  Nijssen, 1972
Common Names CW121, Amapa State Cory
Amapa Cory, Pirate Cory, Piratpansermalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Cachoera Creek at right bank of Rio Amapari, 4 km downstream of Casa do 7, Amapa, Brazil.
Pronunciation kor ee doh rass (lineage one). - ah map ah ENN siss
Etymology Cory = helmet, doras = skin. In this case it was incorrectly used to mean armour (cuirasse) instead of skin in allusion to the dual rows of plates that run along the flanks of this genus. From Amapa, the state in Brazil where the species was found. Latin ensis denoting a place, locality or country.
Down arrow Species Information
Size 70mm or 2.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Corydoras are identified by their twin rows of armour plates along the flanks and by having fewer than 10 dorsal fin rays. They are most commonly confused with the other genera in the sub-family, namely Brochis, Scleromystax and Aspidoras.

The colour pattern of this species varies considerably throughout its range and, because of this fact, it is often confused with the following species. C. septentrionalis originating from Venezuela, C. simulatus originating from Colombia and both C. treitlii and C. solox which were described from Brazil.
C. amapaensis differs from all but C. septentrionalis by the presence of a third pair of rictal barbels - see the catfish of the month article for more info. and pictures.
There is no easy way to distinguish C. amapaensis from C. septentrionalis, the former attain a slightly larger adult size and have a more rugged appearance than the latter. Although as youngsters they both have a light banding in their caudal fins, adult C. amapaensis have clear caudal fins.
Sexing As with all Corys, the female is larger, plumper and has rounded pelvic fins.
Down arrow Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Oyapock and Amapari rivers in Amapá, Brazil and French Guiana.
Amapa State Waters, Araguari (Amapa), Amapari (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Guyana Waters, Coastal Rivers of Guyanas, French Guyana Coastal Rivers, Oyapock (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
pH 6.0 - 7.6
Temperature 23.0-28.0°C or 73.4-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Water should be a little soft.
Down arrow Husbandry Information
Feeding All suitably sized foods. Bloodworm & brineshrimp are particular favourites.
Furniture Floating plants to diffuse lighting and a sandy substrate is an almost must for this digger.
Compatibility As with all Corys, a perfect community tank citizen. Males, once established, can be quarrelsome with each other if kept in too small an aquarium.
Suggested Tankmates Anything from tetras to cichlids, preferably South American, but will mix with all community fish.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down arrow Further Information
Reference Netherlands Journal of Zoology v. 21 (no. 4), pp 417, Figs. 2, 3; Pl. 3.
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Last Update 2022 Aug 21 11:46 (species record created: 2009 Nov 06 14:16)

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