Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfishes) > Callichthyidae
(Callichthyid armored catfishes) > Callichthyinae
Etymology: Callichthys: Greek, kalos, kallos = beautiful + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 5.8 - 8.3; dH range: ? - 30. Subtropical; 18°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672)
South America: Most Cis-Andean South American river drainages north of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 21.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 125882); max. published weight: 140.00 g (Ref. 125882)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Obligate air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Found in extreme environments, from anoxic conditions (slack water zones bordered by dense vegetation) (Ref. 35381) to slightly turbid but free flowing streams (Ref. 11225). When the biotope becomes dry, it can move out of the water, due to its ability to breathe intestinally, in order to find another aquatic environment (Ref. 35381). Feeds at night on fish, insects and plant matter (Ref. 7020). Juveniles feed on rotifers, in addition to the micro-crustaceans and aquatic insect larvae they find when digging into the substrate (Ref. 35381). During reproduction, the male's belly turns orange and its pectoral spines become longer and thicker. The male builds a bubble nest with some floating plants, strongly guarding it after the female lays down her eggs (up to 120) (Ref. 35381). Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; minimum aquarium size 120 cm (Ref. 51539).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Builds a nest of air bubbles coated with saliva on the underside of a large leaf. Eggs are attached to the nest and are guarded by the male. Eggs hatch in 4 to 6 days.
Burgess, W.E., 1989. An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p. (Ref. 6868)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.00792 - 0.02298), b=3.09 (2.93 - 3.25), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec=120).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (11 of 100).