Catfish of the Month Right September 1998

Corydoras(ln9) adolfoi
Adolfo's Cory, Orangepandet Pansermalle (Denmark), Panzerwels (Germany) - Corydoras (lineage 9) adolfoi   Burgess, 1982

Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded September 01, 1998.

It's a pretty lame common name, but there you are. This fish has never really had a widely used common name probably because its scientific name is easily pronounced. This is a truly beautiful catfish; (very) arguably the most striking of the genus. Combined with this, C. adolfoi is relatively easy to breed which adds up to an all round appealing fish. Wild caught C. adolfoi are usually expensive, building up the required shoal of these fish in these circumstances can be a financially demanding task. However if someone in your area has already undertaken this task then you may be lucky enough to come by the resulting offspring at your local retailer or fish club. These should be more "competitively priced" but often smaller. In my experience tank bred C. adolfoi are sold quite small (around ½" long) and are slow in growing up to adult size.

Intriguingly there is a long-nosed Cory (C. imitator) which shares a similar colouration (the characteristic orange head spot is more yellowy in C. imitator) to C. adolfoi. There is the more recently described C. duplicareus to confuse us further. This fishes black dorsal stripe extends down to almost cover the upper row of lateral armour plates.

This is something about Corydoras that has always fascinated me; take for example the appearance characteristics of C. adolfoi and C. imitator. These are very similar, except the exact tint of the orange/golden cap and the latter's long-nose. Taking this further imagine all the known species of Corydoras as a source pool, change one feature of a given species and see if the resulting fish matches another described species. You can go right through huge amounts of the described species by playing this simple 'game'. Just don't try to include C. barbatus. C. robinae is a bit tricky too! If you get stuck don't get mad, there's probably a fish in the next batch of new imports that'll come to your rescue.

Further on these musings, I've always wanted to write a piece of software that essentially was a Corydoras "identi-kit". Without getting into the seriousness of taxonomical identification keys, imagine a piece of software that with a simple graphical interface would allow your "user defined" Cory to have spots, a long-nose (or maye a C. elegans-style "bullet" round nose), a head stripe, tail-spot, reticulated pattern etc. Just a bit of fun, but it could be expanded into the realms of species identification. Now where did I put that "Teach Yourself Programming in 30 days" book...

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

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Corydoras (lineage 9) adolfoi  Burgess, 1982
Common Names Adolfo's Cory
Orangepandet Pansermalle (Denmark), Panzerwels (Germany)
Type Locality Small tributary of the upper Rio Negro on the equator near São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil.
Pronunciation kor ee doh rass (lineage nine). - add OLL foy
Etymology . Named in honour of Adolfo Schwartz, fish collector.
Down Species Information
Size 57mm or 2.2" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Similar to C. burgessi but has an orange rather than golden head cap and clear dorsal fin. Similar to C. imitator but has a rounded rather than pointed snout. Very similar to C. duplicareus but has a thinner black back stripe.
According to the description C. duplicareus has serrations on the posterior edge of the pectoral fin spine, whereas C. adolfoi does not. This, of course, is not easy to see in a normal aquarium. The best way to see if your fish have these serrations would be to place them into a shallow, preferably white, container and shine a light up from underneath. Then with the aid of a magnifying glass you should be able to see if there are any serrations or not. As a general rule C. duplicareus tends to be a little stockier than C. adolfoi and the black band is usually a little broader.
Sexing Female is fuller (when viewed from above) and larger.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Negro River basin.
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro, Upper Negro (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro, Upper Negro, Uaupes (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2007.
pH 5.6 - 7.0
Temperature 20.0-26.0°C or 68-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Slightly soft, black water is preferred.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Sinking pellets and bloodworm for adults. User data.
Furniture Dense planting around the edges of the tank, thus providing a large swimming space. Although gravel can be used it is best to use a soft sandy substrate.
Compatibility A perfect citizen.
Suggested Tankmates Lots of other C. adolfoi! Being light in colour, this fish looks striking if kept with darker coloured fish. Small South American Characins, such as black neon or black phantom tetras. Large shoals of small mid-water fish will encourage this fish into view.
Breeding Set-up in a 10 gallon tank with pH6.2 with a low TDS reading. Temperature range of 68°F – 70°F (20°C – 2°C) for best results. Given an adult group of at least 6 fish (a ratio of 4 and 4 to 3 males to 1 female will work), regular water changes and good diet are the prerequisites for spawning. Around 20-30 eggs are produced in clutches over up to 48 hours. They are carried by the female in a ''pouch'' formed by her pelvic fins to the underside of broad leaves or the aquarium glass and deposited carefully. Although relatively easy to trigger spawning, rearing fry appears more problematic. Attention to water quality is essential and some breeders maintain that this species must be raised with its parents or other Corydoras fry in order to learn to eat prepared foods.
Breeding Reports There are 14 breeding reports, read them all here.
Down Further Information
Reference Tropical Fish Hobbyist v. 30 (no. 7), pp 15, 2 Figs.
Registered Keepers There are 189 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
Wishlists Love this species? Click the heart to add it to your wish list.
There are 17 wishes to keep this species, see who wants what.
Spotters Spotted this species somewhere? Click the binoculars!
There are 77 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2022 Oct 22 05:33 (species record created: 1998 Sep 01 11:22)

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