Catfish of the Month Right Arrow September 1998 • Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded September 01, 1998



Adolfo's Cory, Panzerwels (Germany) - Corydoras adolfoi   Burgess, 1982

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.

Corydoras adolfoiThis 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 Java in 30 days" book..."


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 NameCorydoras adolfoi  Burgess, 1982
Common NamesAdolfo's Cory
Panzerwels (Germany)
Type LocalitySmall trib. of the upper Rio Negro on the equator near Saão Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil.
PronunciationKory DOOR ass - add OLL foy
EtymologyCory = 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. Named in honour of Adolfo Schwartz, fish collector.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 60mm or 2.4" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationCorydoras 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.

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.
SexingFemale is fuller (when viewed from above) and larger.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionBrazil: Rio Negro and Rio Uaupes.
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)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH5.6 - 7.0
Temperature20.0-26.0°C or 68-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersSlightly soft, black water is preferred.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingSinking pellets and bloodworm for adults.
FurnitureDense 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.
CompatibilityA perfect citizen.
Suggested TankmatesLots 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.
BreedingGiven an adult group of at least 6 fish (a ratio of 3 males to 1 female is best), regular water changes and good diet are the prerequisites for spawning. Around 20-30 eggs are produced in clutches. 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.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesTrop. Fish Hobby.v. 30 (no. 7) - pp15 - 2 Figs.
Registered Keepers(1) Jools, (2) daniel60, (3) Mel1708, (4) ivokilli, (5) Coryologist (k: 9), who also notes: "Spawning Group", (6) Noesis, (7) Yan, (8) philtre, (9) gupebreedr, who also notes: "Obtained from Segrest 6 sub adults. Housed in a 10 gal. bare bottom tank.", (10) nettaigyo, (11) Daragh (k: 7), (12) Andersonic (k: 10), (13) smithrc, (14) pramirez (k: 3), (15) Birger Amundsen, (16) Cyberbob, (17) fulvioander, (18) DutchFry (p: 2, k: 17), (19) irshprncsk, (20) lene.keiserud, (21) mouseninja (k: 5), (22) alcyst, (23) gem400 (k: 5), (24) alexmuchtar, (25) anitabritt (k: 3), who also notes: "Spawned but no fertile eggs. Spawned once but no fertile eggs.", (26) bevans, (27) Olivier (k: 20), (28) jar (p: 2, k: 9), (29) cloudies, (30) reticulata (k: 7), (31) boyneburn (k: 80), (32) kamas88 (k: 8), (33) miq, (34) jac (k: 21), (35) apisto-nut (p: 2), (36) smegforbrains, (37) lstratton, (38) chris1932 (k: 27), who also notes: "Still waiting for spawns", (39) Kampfer (k: 2), (40) Melchior (k: 9), (41) Rx4Prosperity (k: 4), who also notes: "I love Adolfoi! After searching and begging local dealers to get them for over 6 months (I like to individually pic out my fish) a batch of baby's came in earlier this week! I just wish I could have afforded more right now.", (42) arzerkle (p: 2), (43) he that is i (k: 2), (44) Lloydy (k: 2), (45) eoibio, (46) LowCat, (47) Gretesam (k: 12), (48) madattiver (k: 10), (49) TheSmurfinator (k: 4), (50) Greg Curtis, (51) buller42 (k: 6), (52) cichlideakvarie.dk, (53) ouscazz, (54) donishi, (55) rich815, (56) stlpleco, (57) Raptor, (58) ayrtoninst (k: 34), (59) ligon, (60) CanadaPleco (k: 10), (61) ParSve, (62) fishpimpin, (63) somename, (64) markhinch (p: 2), (65) vega77 (k: 6), (66) sterba (k: 53), (67) matti2uude (k: 4), (68) aquadominus, (69) Ironhead (k: 59), (70) cpfc (k: 4), (71) nerdworks (k: 7), (72) daniel_cory, (73) NC24 (k: 50), (74) nasdaq77, (75) corygirl67, (76) aquaoahu, (77) jpod, (78) DOThack, (79) Mark Roesner, (80) Anders Kaste, (81) arapaimag (k: 7), (82) tomr (k: 7), (83) Sam (k: 6), (84) Black_flys (k: 11), (85) nerdoutlaw (k: 2), (86) reefdive, (87) corycrazy, (88) catfishhunter (p: 2), (89) soltarii007, (90) corydoras, (91) mace, (92) clydeboy, (93) anthonyking, (94) mgamer20o0, (95) SuzukaS2k, (96) ogm, (97) dav, (98) KillieOrCory, (99) Lars Jamne (k: 30), (100) puresp (k: 6), (101) ChristianS (k: 4), (102) darr3ll, (103) rmc (k: 5), (104) ryanqin, (105) randomsam1001, (106) Joost (k: 25), (107) Mruaru, (108) Lee Meadows, (109) fishdoc313 (k: 6), (110) Sean B (p: 2), (111) LiZZzz (k: 10), (112) Ozboy (k: 10), (113) camillajakobsen93 (k: 11), (114) Erik82, (115) Nabobmob1, (116) sushi1980, (117) Igor Hotasi Simamora, (118) krazyGeoff, (119) acharman, (120) Bardot (k: 5), (121) woowk (k: 4), (122) ravenxcoree (k: 2), (123) Jumpmaster, (124) LostYeti (k: 6), (125) scandicman (k: 7), (126) CharlieM9, (127) hovmoller, (128) Nolapete (k: 25), (129) cjerrom, (130) Lewis m (k: 10), (131) benma (k: 6), (132) rootbear, (133) madpeace21, (134) Mexnotex, (135) Mvinyl (k: 7), (136) Haz311289, (137) pleconut (k: 20), who also notes: "Wild caught supplied by Glaser. Very active little group. Spawned within a week of having the group.", (138) Mathias, (139) GeirO, (140) sommit (k: 2), (141) Lars, (142) fishyNZ (k: 4), (143) Atmichaels (k: 11), (144) Mariska (k: 10), (145) los66 (p: 2), (146) javednaik, (147) matte s, (148) DHarris, (149) Fish777 (k: 2), who also notes: "I bought them at 3/16"-1/4" . I had never seen small ones like that swimming up and down the glass before. Made me want to breed a whole tank full of little Cory's. Lost 2 of the 4. new Cory Kanei (3) were sick killed 22 fish in 4 days. Bacterial I'm thinking.the fish that nibbled on the dead died except L199 that seems to like dead fish to my surprise. I took the Denison Barb from it.", (150) TheNativeAquarist, (151) Tony4143 (k: 5), (152) Tetranerd, (153) protopterus, (154) Vogias (k: 10), (155) Piotr, (156) Koen (k: 7), (157) heetseekr, (158) Samaki (p: 2), (159) Gormets, (160) troi.

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 Reports(1) CharlieM9 (b: 58), (2) Mvinyl (b: 57), (3) pleconut (b: 55), (4) scandicman (b: 51), (5) fishdoc313 (b: 50), (6) Nabobmob1 (b: 48), (7) Rita Aspevik (b: 42), (8) heetseekr (b: 32), (9) Vogias (b: 19), (10) Mathias (b: 11), (11) sushi1980 (b: 9).
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Last Update2014 Sep 29 01:13 (species record created: 1998 Sep 01 11:22)

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