'Doras' punctatus

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'Doras' punctatus

Currently being sold in the shops under the name Opsodoras stuebelli, these unusual catfish are actually an undescribed species, says Dr Heok Hee Ng.

Scientific name:

‘Doras’ punctatus (Kner, 1853).

Origin:

Amazon river drainage.

Size:

To 13cm/5”.

Diet:

Feeds readily on live and frozen foods. Will also take dry food.

Water:

Best kept in soft, acidic water. Temperature should ideally be around 22-26°C/72-79°F and pH around 5.5–7.

Aquarium:

Provide ample driftwood and submerged vegetation for hiding and a sand substrate. This is a sociable species and should be kept in a small group of at least three. Gentle by nature, this catfish is suited for the community aquarium and should pose no risk to other tank mates. 

Identification:

This doradid is easily distinguished from many others by its sharp snout and brown, spotted body. The only other similar species is ‘Doras’ eigenmanni which differs in lacking the dark stripes on the caudal fin, having a spotted caudal fin instead. According to doradid expert Dr Mark Sabaj Pérez, this species belongs to an undescribed genus, hence the quotation marks in the generic name. These were on sale as Opsodoras stuebelli.

Price:

Expect to pay around £10 each. 

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.