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Corydoras splendens (CASTELNAU, 1855)

Emerald 'Brochis'

SynonymsTop ↑

Callichthys splendens Castelnau 1855; ; Brochis splendens (Castelnau 1855); Callichthys taiosh Castelnau 1855; Brochis dipterus Cope 1872; Corydoras semiscutatus Cope 1872; Brochis coeruleus Cope 1872; Chaenothorax bicarinatus Cope 1878; Chaenothorax eigenmanni Ellis 1913


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.

splendens: from the Latin splendens, meaning ‘shining, glittering, gleaming, glistening, bright, brilliant’.


Order: Siluriformes Family: Callichthyidae


This species is one of the more widespread than other members of the genus and has been recorded throughout much of the Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

It is thought that certain populations may turn out to represent distinct species in the future, and this may involve revalidation of some of the synonyms above.

Type locality is given simply as ‘Rio Tocantins, Brazil’.


This species tends to form aggregations in smaller tributaries and still bodies of water such as backwaters, oxbows and marginal lakes.

Maximum Standard Length

70 – 80 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

Minimum base dimensions of 120 ∗ 45 cm or equivalent are recommended.


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

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

Water Conditions

Temperature20 – 28 °C

pH5.0 – 8.0

Hardness36 – 268 ppm


Corydoras spp. are foraging omnivores and will accept most sinking dried foods, as well as small live and frozen varieties such as chironomid larvae (bloodworm), Tubifex, 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 6-8 individuals.

Sexual Dimorphism

Adult females are noticeably rounder, higher-bodied, and grow slightly larger than males.


Eggs are laid close to the water surface and are easy to remove elsewhere for raising.

NotesTop ↑

This species was formerly included in the genus Brochis alongside, and is sometimes referred to as ‘common brochis’.  Juveniles have a mottled colour pattern and are sometimes traded as ‘hi-fin cory’ due to their enlarged dorsal-fin.

C. splendens can be told apart from other ex-Brochis species by possession of 10-12 dorsal-fin rays (vs. 15-18, normally 15, in C. britskii and usually 17-18 in C. multiradiatus). All other members of the genus Corydoras, as well as the closely-related Aspidoras and Scleromystax, possess 6-8 dorsal-fin rays.

Brochis was first synonymised with Corydoras by Britto (2003), since the latter genus cannot be considered monophyletic if the former is accepted as valid. This decision has been supported in subsequent phylogenetic studies by Shimabukuro-Dias et al. (2004) and Alexandrou et al. (2011), although the name Brochis is still common in aquarium literature. It is likely that the genus will be revalidated and expanded in the future following a required taxonomic review of the subfamily Corydoradinae as suggested by Alexandrou and Taylor (2011).

The genus Corydoras 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.


  1. Castelnau, F. L., 1855 - Paris (P. Bertrand). v. 2: i-xii + 1-112
    Poissons. In: Animaux nouveaux or rares recueillis pendant l'expédition dans les parties centrales de l'Amérique du Sud, de Rio de Janeiro a Lima, et de Lima au Para; exécutée par ordre du gouvernement Français pendant les années 1843 a 1847 ... Part 7, Zoologie.
  2. Alexandrou, M. A. and M. I. Taylor, 2011 - Verlag A.C.S. GmbH: 101-114
    Evolution, Ecology and Taxonomy of the Corydoradinae Revisited. In: Identifying Corydoradinae Catfish.
  3. Alexandrou, M. A., C. Oliveira, M. Maillard, R. A. R. McGill, J. Newton, S. Creer and M. I. Taylor , 2011 - Nature 469(7328): 84-88
    Competition and phylogeny determine community structure in Müllerian co-mimics.
  4. Britto, M. R. , 2003 - Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 153: 118-154
    Phylogeny of the subfamily Corydoradinae Hoedeman, 1952 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae), with a definition of its genera.
  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. Hoedeman, J. J. , 1952 - Beaufortia 1(12): 1-11
    Notes on the Ichthyology of Surinam (Dutch Guiana). The Catfish genera Hoplosternum and Callichthys, with key to the genera and groups of the family Callichthyidae.
  8. Reis, R. E. , 1998 - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 124(2): 105-168
    Anatomy and phylogenetic analysis of the neotropical callichthyid catfishes (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes).
  9. 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.
  10. Shimabukuro-Dias, C. K., C. Oliveira, R. E. Reis and F. Foresti , 2004 - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32(1): 152-163
    Molecular phylogeny of the armored catfish family Callichthyidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes).

One Response to “Corydoras splendens – Emerald ‘Brochis’ (Brochis splendens, Brochis dipterus)”

  • Coryman

    References 6: is incomplete and thus biased.

    Please amend the reference and include the full publishing details:
    The book Identifying ‘Corydoradinae Catfishes’ was written by Fuller, I.A.M and H-G. Evers.
    produced by Ian Fuller Enterprises.

    Published jointly and distributed worldwide by:

    Ian Fuller Enterprises A.C.S. GmbH (Aqualog)
    68 Canterbury Rd Liebigstrasse 1
    Kidderminster D-63110 Rodgau
    Worcestershire Germany
    DY11 6EU
    United Kingdom

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