Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded January 01, 2002.
This is essentially a pictorial record of my trip to Iquitos and surrounding area in the Peruvian Amazon. There are a lot of non-catfish and indeed non-fish pictures shown but this particular page is intended not to discuss the minutiae of this areas catfish inhabitants but rather to give an overall feel to the whole experience of fish collecting in the Amazon. Please note that any links to the image library from this page are to pictures of THE ACTUAL fish we collected, I have not linked in fish that I have pictures of to this page unless they are the ones collected.
That said, what a trip, many many stories that I do not yet have the time to relate to you here, but I hope to write them up sometime so you can peruse them at your leisure. Despite record high water levels for the time of year we did manage to catch some catfish and this was augmented with a trip to the exporters before departure.
One of the fish related highlights involved Allan James (www.scotcat.com), Clare and I sharing a wonderful half hour all on our own in a dark jungle stream dip net catching Corydoras elegans by the bucket-load. I have some photos of this and Clare recorded the whole ecstatic episode on audio tape. Between us we caught over 70 fish in no more than 10 square feet of muddy leaf filled stream. Around 20 are currently settled in my living room show tank. The thing that stays with me most is the colour of these fish right after we caught them, nothing like what they look like now.
During the week I caught (in no order at all)...
- Brochis splendens (I have video footage of me catching them, the colours....)
- Corydoras elegens
- Corydoras ambiacus
- Corydoras reticulatus
- Hypoptopoma spp. (Two separate species)
- Dianema longibarbus
- Callichthys callichthys
- Amblydoras hancocki (Tiny 1 cm babies which were by far the commonest catch)
- Pimelodus albofasciatus
- Auchenipterichthys thoracatus
- Pimelodus maculatus
- Anadoras grypus
- Hassar notospilus
- Ospodoras spp. (One of which was near white, an odd fish indeed)
- Lepthosternum sp.
- Megalechis thoracata(stunning colour patterning)
- Ancistrus sp.
- Rineloricaria sp.
- Brachyrhamdia marthae
- Bunocephalus sp.
- Centromochlus heckelli (which died soon after capture, an open water catfish)
Part 2 of this series is a comprehensive list of all species of fish collected. Most the rest of the fish above I have at home now but suffered some loses of Brochis (burst bags) during import, the Ospodoras sp. died upon introduction to the aquarium which was a real loss. The group also caught a few unknowns including lovely, tiny catfish that was all black with a gold saddle at it's shoulder. It looked like Pimelodid. Similar to picture In Baensch 5 p254 but all black with a single gold shoulder stripe. Also a Trichomycterid which Allan James caught, no idea as yet what it is.
At the exporters we saw many, many fish the highlights being...
- Lamontichthys filamentosus (I bought the only 3)
- Hemidoras paraguayensis (I bought 10)
- Rhinodoras boehlkei (They are very small but I bought 10)
- Acanthicus adonis (huge, over 16"!)
- L90 & L204 (literally hundreds of them)
- Pterosturisoma microps
- Pimelodus ornatus (too big for me to reasonably import).
More corys than you care to mention but Corydoras fowleri, Peru golds and Peru orange stripes were most striking. These we not at the exporters that we bought from. Several sizes of Brachyplatystoma juruense and Pseudopimelodus ranius ranius were among the also notables. The 20 assorted Hassar type Doradids I brought back turned out to be 3 distinct species. Oh yeah and lots of tetras, piranha, cichlids and stuff. I brought back a nice Mylossoma (silver dollar) that eats duckweed, a trio of Biotopoma cupido cichlids and an tetra that Clare caught which is probably a species of Astyanax.
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