Catfish of the Month Right August 2013

Scleromystax lacerdai
C015, Lacerda's Cory, Lacerdas Pansermalle (Denmark) - Scleromystax lacerdai   (Hieronimus, 1995)

Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded August 03, 2013.

Among the weirdest of the 'odd Corys' is Scleromystax lacerdai; first bred in Scotland in the early nineties by long-time fishbreeder Jim Makin. This is indeed an odd-looking 'Cory': it's very, very elongated. If you think about it, in profile, a typical cory is about 30% head, 30% caudal (tail) fin and around 40% body. S. lacerdai, on the other hand, is about 20% head, 20% caudal fin and 60% of a long, low, cigar-shaped body. Originally given the C-number C015, it was described by German aquarist Harro Hieronimus in 1995, and named to honour the leading ornamental fish collector Marco Lacerda. Marco collected the fish in the State of Bahia, specifically in the Rio Ribeira da Terra Firme, near the towns of Canavieiras and Ilheus. This is a small Scleromystax and is unlikely to get larger than 60mm.

At an early meeting of the UK's catfish study group I was sitting next to Jim (Scottish Aquarists, rather like Corydoras, tend to shoal together) listening to a talk being given by Harro, and a slide appeared showing the audience S. lacerdai. I didn't need to look at Jim to sense he was on the edge of his seat. Just before Harro was about to move on to the next slide, and Jim was just barely touching his seat, Harro told the audience that this unusual 'Corydoras' had never been bred in captivity. Like a submarine missile emerging from the water, Jim leapt up and said something to the effect of 'I've done it!'. It was a classic fishkeeping moment which managed to be at once hilarious, educational and inspiring all at the same time. Harro continued his talk, but much was discussed around this species and others that weekend.

I attend the same convention these days and now the international interaction of specialist catfish breeders is a given. It's just something the catfish-keeping community now does — to my mind, it is interesting to remember that this 'odd cory' Scleromystax lacerdai, combined with modern technologies like email and web-sites, was perhaps the catalyst of international co-operation between catfish breeders. For Scleromystax in particular, this is important, as these species are relatively easy to breed but with very, very sparse imports from the wild, there is an increasing worry it might be the last.

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 Scleromystax lacerdai  (Hieronimus, 1995)
Common Names C015, Lacerda's Cory
Lacerdas Pansermalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Rio Ribeira da Terra Firme, between Canavieiras and Ilheus, se. Bahia, Brazil.
Synonym(s) Corydoras lacerdai
Pronunciation ss KLER oh muss tax - lass ERR dye
Etymology Scleromystax: From the Greek sclero meaning hard and the Latin mystax meaning moustache. Named to honour Mr. Marco T. Lacerda.
Down Species Information
Size 55mm or 2.2" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Brazil: South East Bahia
Bahia State Rivers, Terre Firme (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
Temperature 20.0-25.0°C or 68-77°F (Show species within this range)
Down Husbandry Information
Breeding Only one success by a Scottish fishkeeper has been achieved if not documented.
Breeding Reports There is but a single breeding report, read it here.
Down Further Information
Reference Zeitschrift Fischk. v. 3 (no. 1) 110 Figs. 5-7
Registered Keepers There are 8 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 2 wishes to keep this species, see who wants what.
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There are 6 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2022 Feb 04 00:55 (species record created: 2013 Aug 03 09:45)

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