Corydoras pantanalensis

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Ian Fuller looks at the rarely seen Corydoras pantanalensis.

Scientific name: Corydoras pantanalensis Knaack, 2001

Origin: Bolivia, Santa Cruz Province northern Pantanal, Ro Cussis, Ro Las Petas; Brazil, Mato Grosso State, northern Pantanal.

Water: This species as its name would suggest comes from the area of Brazil and Bolivia known as the Pantanal, translated means marsh or bog; this is a vast wetland area estimated to be between 54 and 81 thousand square miles. It has an average rainfall of 1.6 metres, which would indicate considerable variances in water parameters during the course of a year. This tells us that C. pantanalensis is tolerant of these changes, however for their general wellbeing a neutral pH of 7.0 and a general hardness of between 3 and 9 dGH would be ideal.

Size: This species is one of the larger members of the family and under aquarium conditions would be expected to grow to 75 mm SL for males, females a little larger, up to 80 mm SL.

Aquarium: Ideally kept in groups of six or more, they would require reasonably sized accommodation, a 36" x 15" x 12" aquarium would be ideal.

Diet: Their natural diet consists of small crustaceans, insect larvae, worms and other microscopic life forms found in the bio film that forms on submerged objects. In aquaria they happily accept tablet, granular and flake foods, but the addition of live or frozen food such Daphnia, bloodworm or tubifex would help to keep these fish in the best possible condition.

Identification: This species has a characteristic that is almost unique in that mature dominant males exhibit a beautiful mosaic body pattern especially during the breeding season. This character is also present in its very close slightly smaller relative Corydoras geryi Nijssen & Isbrcker, 1983. Other than overall size the main overall visual difference between the two species is that the latter has prominent barring in both the dorsal and caudal fins.

Notes: This species has been bred under aquarium conditions, but it is believed that replication of the dry season is required before spawning will take place. It is quite possible that because Corydoras pantanalensis and Corydoras geryi are found in the same area of the Pantanal, that they would be found together in importations. Corydoras pantanalensis has and still is in many areas of the export trade, being identified as Corydoras latus Person, 1926. However because of the sparseness of the description and the poor state of the type material, it is doubtful we will ever know the true Corydoras latus.

Availability: These fish were spotted at Wharf Aquatics in Nottinghamshire and were imported by Tom Halvorsen.

Price: These were on sale for ***.

Ian Fuller