Catfish of the Month Right Arrow April 2007 • Article © Heok Hee Ng, uploaded April 01, 2007



Pseudolaguvia foveolata   Ng, 2005

The 2004 expedition to northern India has been productive, resulting in several new catfish species being described and spawning at least four talks (in aquarium meetings) and at least one magazine article, translated into English and available here. To celebrate the third anniversary of this trip (and to round up the results of this trip to include a CotM article), I share my experience with one of the new species, Pseudolaguvia foveolata, discovered during this trip. Cast netting in the Tista River (a tributary of the Brahmaputra River) yielded the first specimen known to science, and almost exactly three years later, I was pleasantly surprised to see this species show up at an importer in Singapore.

I split the few that I had into two batches and placed them into to separate tanks that were very similar (but not identical) in setup. Both tanks had a substrate of fine sand with plenty of rocks for the fish to hide in, but one tank had a stronger current than the other. Having been to the habitat (the Tista is fairly fast-flowing where this species was first collected), I thought that the fish in the tank with the stronger current would be more active (since the conditions in there are more similar to the ones in its natural habitat). Surprisingly, the fish in the tank with a slower flow turned out to be more active (although it did spend almost all its time at or near the filter outlet), so it seems that maintaining a moderate (but not strong) current is more desirable. Another thing I noted is that Pseudolaguvia prefer to hide vertically amongst vegetation in areas of current, where they appear to use their thoracic adhesive apparatus to maintain their position (this behavior was also noted for P. tuberculata, which were being kept in the same tank). Unlike many small sisoroid catfishes, Pseudolaguvia foveolata did not show a tendency to burrow into sand (although they would do so very rarely).

Feeding them was less problematic than I had imagined. I initially thought that they would eat only live or frozen food, but found that they would also accept small pelleted food with ease. Pseudolaguvia make good tankmates in a setup with similar sized fish (e.g. Puntius gelius).

This is a unique little catfish worth considering for the intermediate aquarist with a cooler water setup and smaller fishes.


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Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NamePseudolaguvia foveolata  Ng, 2005
Common Name
Type LocalityIndia: West Bengal: Tista River at Tista barrage.
Pronunciationsue doh lah GOO vee ah - foe vee oh lah tah
EtymologyFrom the Latin foveola, meaning pit, in reference to the large median depression in the thoracic adhesive apparatus of this species. An adjective.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 30mm or 1.2" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationMembers of the genus Pseudolaguvia are small erethistid catfishes inhabiting hill streams and large rivers in the area bordered by the Ganges River drainage (northern India) to the west and the Sittang River drainage (east-central Myanmar) to the east. They can be distinguished from other sisorids by their small size,a combination of a thoracic adhesive apparatus with a median depression and prominent postcoracoid processes.

Differs from congeners in having a shorter thoracic adhesive apparatus, a more slender and more elongate body.
SexingNot known.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionKnown from the Tista River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra River in northern West Bengal state in India.
Indian waters, North Eastern India Waters, Padma, Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Tista (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 StatusData Deficient
pH6.0 - 7.0
Temperature23.0-24.0°C or 73.4-75.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersNeeds well oxygenated water.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingLive/frozen food preferred, but can adapt to small particulate prepared food.
FurnitureFine sand for the bottom and smooth pebbles / rocks.The presence of plants will also help. Pseudolaguvia foveolata was collected from a deep area of the Tista River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra River. The water was turbid and the area in which the holotype was collected had a mixed rocky / sandy bottom.
CompatibilityA peaceful, shoaling species that should be kept in a group of at least 4. Best kept in a well-oxygenated tank, preferably with some current.
Suggested TankmatesIdeal tankmates include balitorine loaches such as Homaloptera, fast-swimming cyprinids such as Danio or Barilius, and smaller mastacembelids. Other species collected along with Pseudolaguvia foveolata include Aspidoparia morar, Barilius bendelisis,B. shacra, B. vagra, Crossocheilus latius, Carra lissorhynchus , Canthophrys gongota ,Psilorhynchus balitora, P. sucatio ,Lepidocephalichthys guntea ,Acanthocobitis botia, Schistura savona , Amblyceps mangois , Batasio tengana , Erethistoides sp. and Parambassis ranga .
BreedingUnreported.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesPseudolaguvia foveolata, a new catfish (Teleostei: Erethistidae) from northeast India Heok Hee Ng
Registered Keepers(1) Silurus.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2010 Nov 25 12:24 (species record created: 2007 Apr 01 12:37)

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