I was at my LFS tonight and I saw these Corys. They were labeled "Blotchy Corys" and they were priced at either $4 USD or $6 USD (I can't remember which).
I suspect they are identifying the cats as Corydoras blochi. But these fish did not look much like the photos of adult C. blochi (unless their coloration is very immature (see my comment below)).
Here's how I describe these fish:
- They have a rather long snout.
- They have one prominent broken stripe down the midlateral side.
- There are two very weak broken lines above and below the midlateral stripe.
- Most of the body is covered with small spots.
- The head is covered with a reticulated pattern above the eyes, and small spots anterior to the eyes and onto the snout.
- The tail has about 6-7 vertical stripes.
- The dorsal fin looks like it should have a large black spot on the tip of the fin (unfortunately, all of the fish had severely torn dorsal fins, so all you can see is a tiny area of black just along the torn margins, so I'm inferring that the rest of the missing dorsal fin would also have been black).
- Finally, at least two fish had a slightly darkened dorsal spine (which seemed to be the anterior edge of the speculated large dorsal fin spot), but others fish in this group did not.
- a black hood over the head,
- a vertical black stripe through the eyes,
- a yellow-tan area behind the head, or
- a large black spot spreading from the upper anterior body onto the dorsal fin.
If they are immature, then maybe they could be C. blochi; but shouldn't we expect to see at least some evidence of the black stripes through the eye and from the dorsum up onto the dorsal fin by this size? So I don't think they are C. blochi.
If not C. blochi, then what are they? As I try to figure this out, I'm looking at the following possible spp.:
Corydoras leopardus (my personal guess, at this time)
Corydoras gomezi (but I think the snout is too long to be C. gomezi)
Corydoras acutus (my lease likely guess, because C. acutus appears to have more tail stripes than I saw on these unknowns.
Thanks for the help. Cheers, Eric