Looks a bit like a tiger shovelnose, but it's much rarer - Matt Clarke on Pseudoplatystoma corruscans.
Common name: Pintado, Spotted lima
Scientific name: Pseudoplatystoma corruscans (Spix and Agassiz, 1829)
Origin: Widespread across South America. Has been recorded from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Colombia where it is found in the Rio Sao Francisco and Rio Parana basins.
Size: A very large species reaching up to 100kg/15.75 stones in weight and over 160cm/5'4" in length. Mateus and Petrere (2004) conducted a study on growth in Pantanal specimens and believe the species can hit 2m.
Water: Found in soft, neutral or acidic water. Average temperature 25C.
Diet: Frozen freshwater fish.
Aquarium: Too large for all but the largest aquariums, and best left to public aquaria, really. It's a migratory species that is found in large, fast-flowing rivers, so it benefits from lots of free swimming space, powerful filters and large heavy water worn rocks. Not a species for the inexperienced, or those lacking in space and money.
Notes: A genetic study on corruscans by Sekine et al. (2002) showed that populations separated by the Rio Parana's Guiara Falls were genetically different and reproductively isolated.
Related species: There are three species in the genus: P. corruscans, P. tigrinum and P. fasciatium. P. corruscans is the rarest of the three in the hobby.
Identification: This is the only spotted Pseudoplatystoma. Juveniles have a scattering of large spots while adults have numerous small black spots on a beige body interspersed with vertical white bars. The two Tiger shovelnoses, P. fasciatum and P. tigrinum have different patterns. P. tigrinum has vertical black and white bars on the flanks, while T. fasciatum has a more reticulated pattern of widely spaced blank markings.
Availability: Imported by Tom Halvorsen Ltd (0797 7098127) and on sale at Wharf Aquatics in Nottinghamshire (01773 861255). Wharf believes it may be the UK's first import of this species.
Price: On sale for 95.