Zamora Catfish

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Auchenipterichthys coracoideus - (Eigenmann & Allen, 1942)
Zamora Catfish

A handsome South American "Driftwood Cat," best kept in groups.


This odd-looking catfish is one of the “Driftwood or Wood Cats,” a name derived from its favorite hiding places in the wild, where it refuges in groups. It sports a peculiar long cranial ‘shield,’ which gives the impression that the dorsal fin starts at the neck. Ideally, it should be kept in groups of at least three (the more the better), which will make it more comfortable in the aquarium and more apt to eat.

Family: Auchenipteridae

Other common name(s):

  • Midnight Catfish
  • Zamora Wood Cat

Native range:

Habitat: This species prefers a tank with subdued lighting (provide a layer of floating plants) and lots of hiding places in the form of driftwood, rocks and inverted flowerpots in which it can hide during the day.

Maximum length: 13 cm (5 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom


Carnivore. The Zamora Catfish feeds on insects, insect larvae and small crustaceans in the wild, and will accept a wide variety of commercial meaty fare in the aquarium, including good-quality flakes, pellets and sinking wafers. Supplement with live or frozen foods, such as bloodworms and Tubifex worms. Feed first thing in the morning and just after the lights go out at night.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Zamora Catfish is nocturnal and may seem reclusive at first. Once it becomes accustomed to the tank and feeding schedule, it will spend more time in the open.


Internally fertilizing egglayer with no known parental care.


Strong filtration and regular water changes a must.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW