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Corydoras carlae NIJSSEN & ISBRÜCKER , 1983


Corydoras: from the Ancient Greek κόρυς (korus), meaning ‘helmet’, and δορά (dora), meaning ‘skin, hide of an animal’, in allusion to the rows of bony plates on the flanks of genus members.

carlae: named for Mrs. Carla Lindenaar-Sparrius.


Order: Siluriformes Family: Callichthyidae


Endemic to the lower Río Iguazu in Misiones province, northern Argentina.

Type locality is ‘Small arroyo, left bank tributary of Río Iguazu, 50 kilometers from Puerto Iguazu, Paraná basin, Misiones Province, Argentina’.


Apparently restricted to smaller tributary drainages above the famous Iguazu Falls, with images depicting relatively clear, fast-flowing, shallow river with thick riparian vegetation and patches of submerged Echinodorus uruguayensis.

Such habitats in Argentina are typically subject to significant seasonal variations in water volume, flow, turbidity, chemistry and temperature.

The Arroyo Tirica is type locality of the loricariid Hisonotus hungy in Misiones province, and C. carlae has been recorded there alongside Astyanax eigenmanniorum, A. cf. fasciatus, A. cf. troya, Australoheros tembe, Bryconamericus iheringii, Characidium sp., Gymnogeophagus che, Heptapterus mustelinus, Oligosarcus jenynsii, O. paranensis and Schizodon nasutus.

Maximum Standard Length

40 – 45 mm.


Ideally use a substrate of fine sand, although rounded gravel is an acceptable alternative provided it’s kept scrupulously clean.

Other décor is largely down to personal choice, but some cover should be provided to give the fish security.

Given it inhabits pristine environments with flowing water this species requires stable, clean water conditions and should never be added to a biologically immature set-up.

Water Conditions

Temperature15 – 22 °C

pH6.5 – 8.0

Hardness54 – 268 ppm


Corydoras spp. are foraging omnivores and will accept most sinking dried foods, as well as small live and frozen varieties such as bloodwormTubifex, etc.

Feeding a varied diet will ensure the fish are in optimum condition.

Under no circumstances should they be expected to survive on ‘left-overs’ from other inhabitants of the aquarium or relied on to ‘clean’ the aquarium.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Peaceful and gregarious. Should be maintained in a  group of at least 4-6 individuals.

Sexual Dimorphism

Females tend to grow larger, and sexually mature individuals are noticeably rounder and broader-bodied than males, especially when gravid.

NotesTop ↑

This species is not available on a commercial basis but was collected and introduced to the aquarium hobby by Hans-Georg Evers in 2010.

It’s similar in appearance to a number of congeners including C. diphyes, C. erhardtiC. garbeiC. paleatus and C. steindachneri but can be told apart from most of them by possession of two large, indistinct, dark blotches in the middle of each flank.

C. erhardti also has two midlateral blotches but they are more well-defined.

The genus Corydoras is among the largest catfish groups and currently contains over 150 valid species.

It is included in the family Callichthyidae, of which members are often referred to collectively as ‘armoured’ or ‘mailed’ catfishes group due to the presence of bony plates in place of scales on the body.

Their taxonomy can be confusing, and numerous undescribed species are also thought to exist.

Fish of unconfirmed identification entering the aquarium hobby are therefore typically assigned a ‘C‘ or ‘CW‘ number for purposes of reference and organisation.

They are facultative air breathers and possess a modified, highly vascularised intestine which has evolved to facilitate uptake of atmospheric oxygen and aid survival in oxygen-deprived environments. In the aquarium you’ll occasionally see them rising to the surface to take in gulps of air.

The stiffened pectoral-fin spines are capable of piercing human skin and a ‘sting’ can be very painful indeed, so care should be exercised when handling them.

It is thought that secretions from the axillary glands at the base of each spine may even be mildly toxic or venomous.


  1. Nijssen, H. and I. J. H. Isbrücker, 1983 - Revue française d'Aquariologie Herpétologie 10(3): 73-84
    Sept espèces nouvelles de poissons-chats cuirassés du genre Corydoras Lacepède, 1803, de Guyane française, de Bolivie, d'Argentine, du Surinam et du Brésil (Pisces, Siluriformes, Callichthyidae).
  2. Axenrot, T. E. and S. O. Kullander, 2003 - Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 14(3): 249-272
    Corydoras diphyes (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae) and Otocinclus mimulus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), two new species of catfishes from Paraguay, a case of minetic association.
  3. Azpelicueta, M. de las M., A. E. Almirón, J. R. Casciotta and S. Körber, 2007 - Revue Suisse de Zoologie 114(3): 591-598
    Hisonotus hungy sp. n. (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) a new species from arroyo Tirica, Misiones, Argentina.
  4. Evers, H-G., 2010 - World Wide Web electronic publication, www.planetcatfish.com: Accessed on 13.02.06
    Shane's World: In search of Corydoras carlae.
  5. Ferraris, C. J., Jr., 2007 - Zootaxa 1418: 1-628
    Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types.
  6. Fuller, I. A. M., and H-G. Evers, 2005 - Verlag A.C.S. GmbH: 1-384
    Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish.
  7. Reis, R. E., S. O. Kullander, and C. J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds) , 2003 - EDIPUCRS, Porto Alegre: i-xi + 1-729
    Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America. CLOFFSCA.
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