Catfish of the Month Right Arrow September 1999 • Article © Ian Fuller, uploaded September 01, 1999



Olga Cory - Corydoras simulatus   Weitzman & Nijssen, 1970

Once more we have a featured Corydoras and, more importantly, once more it is introduced to us by cory guru, Ian Fuller. My thanks to Ian for the article this month as it allows me to concentrate on writing other things such as Grooms wedding speeches.... I digress, back to the fish, Ian?

Corydoras simulatus is a long snouted species, growing to around 70 millimetres often referred to as saddle snouted because of its concave snout shape. It was given its name because of the similarity of its colour pattern to the smaller rounded nose species Corydoras metae Eigenmann, 1914. Both species come from the Rio Meta in the Meta province of Colombia. Corydoras simulatus also display variability in its colour pattern, with two distinct colour forms known, which are often present within single populations. The classic pattern shows a plain tan coloured body with a narrow black band extending from the base of the dorsal fin along the ridge of the back and down across the caudal peduncle. The colour pattern of the less frequently seen variants show an additional dark, often intense, black triangular blotch along the centre of the body. Both variants also have a black vertical eye mask.

For a number of years the specimens of Corydoras simulatus showing the large triangular body blotch were thought to be another similar looking, also variable, species from the Amapa region of eastern Brazil, namely Corydoras amapaensis Nijssen, 1972. Fortunately this colour form of Corydoras amapaensis is quite rare in the hobby and the identification problem does not often arise. Where these species differ visually is in the base body colour and in body depth. The body colour of Corydoras amapaensis tend to be lighter with a silvery appearance, the depth is also considerably shallower.

Corydoras simulatus is an undemanding species and will tolerate a wide range of water conditions, however extremes should be avoided and any changes made should be gradual, with the exception of temperature when attempts to trigger spawning activity are made. The typical temperature drop made during water changes will often induce spawning activity; in fact this is one of the few long nosed species that has been successfully bred under aquarium conditions on a fairly regular basis. The species is best kept in a tank having a fine sand substrate in which it will often be seen burying head first, almost up to its eyes in its search for food particles. Other tank furnishings are a matter of personal taste, but the addition of some live plants, bog wood and a little leaf litter and will afford the fish with more natural surroundings.

The dietary requirements of this species are typical for the genus and in nature would consist of small insect larvae, crustaceans, worms and micro organisms found in the bio-film, which forms on submerged rocks, tree roots and fallen branches. In aquaria they will accept most commercially prepared flake, tablet and granular foods, However to keep them in the best of health their diet should be varied and where possible include live offerings such as Daphnia, blood worm, tubifex and chopped earth worms.


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 simulatus  Weitzman & Nijssen, 1970
Common NameOlga Cory
Type LocalityRío Ocoá near Puerto López, 4°06'N, 72°57'W, R. Meta system, Meta, Colombia.
PronunciationKory DOOR ass
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. This specific epithet literally means imitation(simulatus=imitation, copy), in reference to its similarity to Corydoras metae.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 70mm or 2.8" 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.

A long snouted species, having a tan coloured body with a black band along the ridge of the back from the base of the dorsal to and across the caudal peduncle. There is also a black vertical eye mask.
SexingSexing Corydoradinae catfishes
General RemarksThis species is one of only four which posses a third pair of rictal barbels, these are only small and can only be seen when the larger outer barbels are in a forward position.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSouth America: Upper Meta River in Colombia.
Orinoco, Middle Orinoco, Meta, Upper Meta (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 - 6.4
Temperature20.0-25.0°C or 68-77°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingWill accept most commercial flake, tablet and granular foods. Small crustaceans, worms and insect larvae form the basis of their natural diet and where ever possible should be offered as and when available.
FurnitureFine smooth grained sand substrate.
CompatibilityPeaceful, but may become aggressive to own kind during mating season.
Suggested TankmatesAny non-boisterous fish.
BreedingC. simulatus were spawned in a fish house in the U.K. where the heating was turned off at the end of April and back on again towards the end of September. This resulted in a 24 hour temperature variation of between 8 and 10 °F. Weekly water changes were made as normal, no extra cooling was needed to trigger the spawning. When the fish were ready they followed the normal Cory 'T' formation mating clinches and spawned. A single female produced 150 1.5mm diameter light amber eggs. These were placed on the tank sides and in the spawning mops. Spawning mops should be provided as the fish appeared to prefer these to Java Moss.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesBeaufortia. 18 (no. 233) - pp126 - Figs. 4, 6d

Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish Ian A. M. Fuller & Hans-Georg Evers 2005 (pages 61-62).
Registered Keepers(1) Yan, (2) Barracuda518 (k: 8), (3) Daragh (k: 14), (4) Redcatman (k: 2), (5) jollysue (k: 10), (6) anitabritt (k: 6), who also notes: "6 wc adults.Bought as "Olga" ", (7) gem400, (8) Birger Amundsen, (9) Kampfer, (10) dougkn (k: 3), (11) MattP, who also notes: "Being sold as Metae in pets at home so grabbed them asap!.One looks abit weak so fingers crossed.Would like more if any one has seen them recently....UPDATE..lost the weaker of the two so a bit gutted!Still looking for more.", (12) Mark Roesner, (13) Biulu, (14) Vess, (15) Lee Meadows, (16) jodilynn (k: 2), who also notes: "Large, beautiful corys, bought 3 today, seem to be swimming around well! Wild caught. Update: One died the next day sadly, so went back and bought the remaining two for a quartet. One seems more aggressive than the other three and chases the others quite a bit. Update: Sadly down to just two individuals. They seemed to have a hard time adjusting to my water (hard and high ph). I have a bag of oak leaves in the tank and have been mixing purified and de-chlorinated city water with my well water. The two corys left seem to be doing well though, eating and busying themselves about the tank.", (17) sushi1980, (18) Narwhal72, (19) scandicman (k: 4), (20) Mol_PMB (k: 4), who also notes: "These are the variety with the dark blotch.", (21) KillieOrCory, (22) KeXx (k: 7), (23) Junglejason.

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Breeding Reports(1) scandicman (b: 50).
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Last Update2007 Sep 24 04:57 (species record created: 1999 Sep 01 11:22)

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