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Family: Callichthyidae, Subfamily Corydoradinae

Common Name:

Origin and Habitat: Upper Rio Guapore in Rondonia state, Brazil. Found in the main channel of the river.

Compatibility/Temperament: Peaceful, typical cory species that should be kept in a group of at least five of its own species, though three or four will suffice if there are other cory species in the same tank. Perfect for a community aquarium of non-aggressive fish with similar water requirements.

Cory Diet

Feeds on insect larvae, small crustaceans and worms in its habit; accepts most prepared sinking food like pellets and tablets, with frozen bloodworms and live worms for variety.


Around 2 inches.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

24 inches in length.

Water parameters for Cory

Soft (hardness below 12 dGH) acidic to very slightly basic (pH below 7.2) water, temperature 22-26C/72-79F.


This fish is very similar to Corydoras guapore but the subject species has a rounder profile and the spotting is slightly darker; it is said to be more robust. C. guapore tends to swim mid-water much more than C. caudimaculatus. Both species occur in the main channel of the Rio Guapore, and although the Guapore basin is an area frequented by collectors, neither species is common in the hobby.

The aquarium should be well-planted with pieces of bogwood, a dark substrate (small gravel or sand, provided it is smooth-edged) with some open areas, and subdued lighting which can be partly achieved by floating plants; corys do not like bright lighting. While this species will swim mid-water to browse wood and plant leaves, it tends to spend most of its time foraging the substrate for food; it is not a very active swimmer, preferring to remain still but within the group. As with all corys, mature females are rounder when viewed from above.

When available, this fish will almost certainly be wild-caught, and attention must therefore be given to ensuring the aquarium's water parameters are within the given range and the conditions are stable.

The Corydoras are quite sensitive to water parameters and quality, and highly intolerant of salt, chemicals and medications. Signs of stress usually begin with rapid respiration, then lethargy (often just "sitting" on plant leaves, wood or the substrate respirating heavily, sometimes near the surface) and sometimes rolling onto one side. At such signs, a partial water change of at least 50% with a good water conditioner should immediately be made, and appropriate steps taken to remove the cause. Any sudden fluctuation in water chemistry or temperature often induces shock, causing the fish to "faint" and fall over on its side. Corydoras introduced to new aquaria will settle in better if the tank is established; corys do not adjust well to a new aquarium with still-unstable water conditions and fluctuations.

The dorsal, pectoral and adipose fins are each preceded by a spine which is actually a hardened and modified ray; the pectoral fin spine can be "locked" into position by the fish; care must be taken when netting corys not to entangle these spines, which can also give the aquarist a nasty jab. They are believed to be a defense adaptation, to lodge the fish in the throat of a predator.

All species in the genus will periodically and fairly regularly swim quickly to the surface for a gulp of air. The fish swallows the air and blood vessels in the hind gut extract oxygen from the air; it is then expelled through the vent the next time the fish breaks the surface for another gulp of air. This adaptation is believed to have evolved so that the fish can survive in poorly-oxygenated water such as drying pools during the dry season. It is however essential to the fish's well-being that it regularly swallows air.

The name of the genus, which was erected by B.G.E. Lacepede in 1803, is derived from the Greek cory [= helmet] and doras [= skin, incorrectly used here for "armour"]; it refers to the dual row of overlapping plates (instead of scales) along the body, comparable to a suit of armour. This species was described by F. Rossel in 1961; the species epithet is a reference to the tail fin, derived from the Latin caudus [= tail] and maculatus [= stained or spotted].

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