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Catfish / Auchenipteridae / Wood Catfish

Wood Catfish
Trachycorystes insignis


Trachycorystes insignis
Synonyms: Auchenipterichthys insignis, Parauchenipterus insignis
Physical description: An elongated species having a stocky body in the frontal regions, while becoming compressed near rear parts. The back profile is straight and the dorsal fin is tall when erect. There is a small adipose fin, and the caudal fin is large and slightly forked. The first ray of the anal fin in the male is modified into a reproductive organ for internal fertilization. The rest of the anal fin has a long base and is rounded. The coloration is variable, although the back is generally dark brown and the flanks are brownish-pink with dark brown markings. The fins are similarly marked. There are three pair of barbels branching off the mouth.
Size/Length: To 6" (15 cm)
Similar species: Other Driftwood Catfish.
H: South America; widespread throughout Amazon watershed
A: bottom
Aquarium: A 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallon (132-170 L) tank is sufficient. The substrate should be fine gravel or sand. Provide hiding places among rocks, roots, and plants.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.7 (6.9), 2-18 dH (10), 68-77°F (20-25°C)
Social behavior: A nocturnal, peaceful species that will eat small fish. Young fish school and may be day-active. Combine with larger fish.
Social behavior: Pacus, Silver Dollars, Pimelodus, Cichlasoma, Anostomus, Hypostomus
FOOD: Live; fish, worms, crustaceans, insect larvae; tablets
Suggested companions: Males have a modified anal fin (urinogenital organ) which is slightly concave. The pelvic and dorsal fins are more pointed in the male.
Breeding techniques: The male embraces the female by holding her between his dorsal fins. The eggs are deposited in a cleaned area and are guarded. The eggs hatch after five days and the fry can be first fed small live foods.
Breeding potential: 9. Breeding is unusual in captivity and has only been accomplished on a few occasions accidentally.
Remarks: This species is the most commonly seen Driftwood catfish in the hobby. Like other Driftwood Cats, this species has a slimy coat.
Difficulty of care: 6. This predatory species requires live foods.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com