Platynematichthys notatus

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The Lince cat, Platynematichthys notatus, is one of the most stunning pimelodid catfishes. Matt Clarke has the details on it.

Common name: Lince cat, Coroata.

Scientific name: Platynematichthys notatus (Jardine and Schomburgk in Schomburgk, 1841).

Origin: Recorded from Brazil and Ecuador, where it is found in the Rio Negro and Rio Branco basins. This specimen was imported from Peru.

Size: The adult size is unclear. FishBase cites a maximum size of up to 80 cm/31", but 60 cm/24" is probably more likely in captivity.

Water: Likely to be anywhere from pH 4-7 in nature, but like other pimelodids, it's reportedly quite adaptable to harder conditions. Temperature should be the usual 25-28C/76-82F.

Diet: A piscivore, so a diet of frozen fish is best. Should also accept frozen shrimp, prawns and possibly even prepared foods once established.

Aquarium: This is a very large and active species, so it needs a particularly spacious aquarium with oodles of free-swimming space. As an adult, I think you'll need something in the order of a 3 x 1.2 x 1.2 m/10' x 4' x 4' or more to do it justice. Others keeping the species have successfully mixed it with other large species, including large stingrays.

Notes: Some have suggested that there may be more than one species being sold as Platynematichthys notatus, as specimens can differ markedly in colouration. (Note the difference between the main picture and the ones below, which were photographed at Pier). Pier Aquatics, who have imported six, believe that there's just one, and the bright yellow fin colours develop when the fish matures and settles into aquarium life. The shops says that the fish is only available for a two-month window each year, which might be an indication that it is a migratory species.

Availability: This is a highly sought-after species, and one that's hardly ever seen on sale. This one was on sale recently at Pier Aquatics. The shop says it has imported six of these to date, which probably accounts for most of the specimens currently in the UK.

Price: An expensive species. This was on sale at 450. Adults are one of the best-looking catfishes around.

This article was first published in the June 2007 issue of Practical Fishkeeping. Pictures by Neil Hepworth.