| Catfish, Platydoras, Platydoras costatus, Doradidae, Agamyxis pectinifrons|
Striped Raphael catfish (Platydoras armatulus) is a catfish of the family Doradidae. It may also be called Southern striped Raphael, talking catfish, chocolate doradid, chocolate catfish or thorny catfish. This peaceful, nocturnal species is a popular aquarium fish due to its pleasant temperament and curious nature.
The striped raphael catfish has long been identified as Platydoras armatulus.
Striped Raphael catfish Wikipedia
The striped Raphael catfish are commonly found in the Amazon, Tocantins, Parnaíba, Orinoco, Essequibo Rivers in French Guiana and Suriname of South America. They have been introduced into the contiguous United States.
These fish burrow in the soft river bottoms and frequently occurs on sandy bottoms. These fish feed on mollusks, crustaceans and organic debris.
They have rigid pectoral fin spines. The striped Raphael catfish also has tiny and curved protective spines running along its body. The striped Raphael catfish can grow up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) SL.
Juvenile raphael catfish have been recorded cleaning piscivorous fish such as Hoplias cf. malabaricus. The stripe pattern in the young may serve as a signal that allows for its recognition as a cleaner. It is noted that the striping pattern is not as strong in adults, and so the cleaning behavior is probably only seen in juveniles.
These fish grow up to 10 to 30 cm
The striped Raphael catfish is a fine and sociable community fish that are peaceful to fellow catfishes and other fish species. However, they are nocturnal, and are usually not visible during the day.
It is best not to catch the striped Raphael catfish with a fish net because they are prone to sticking out their pectoral fin spines in a very rigid manner, especially if stressed. Untangling these spines from a net is difficult and dangerous to both handler and fish. Alternative methods should be used. Although known as a spawning fish, sexual differences are unknown and there have been no reports of being successfully bred in captivity. Because of this, these fish must be wild-caught, and therefore contaminants sometime occur in the hobby, such as Orinocodoras eigenmanni, which differs in a longer snout. The Raphael catfish will make some grunting/squeaking noises while out of water. Although generally sociable with other fish, sometimes this fish can feed on smaller fish so take care when introducing one to an established tank.