The genus Corydoras includes more than 170 species, all of which live in South America. Together with a number of other genera, they form the family Callachtidae, commonly called Armored Catfish.

The genus name Corydoras consists of two parts: Cory means “helmet” and doras means “skin”. The name is a reference to the double row of bony plates under the skin on the flank of this genus. These bone plates effectively act as a kind of armor, hence the common name for this group of fish: Armored catfish. Because they have these bony plates, they do not need any further protection, which means they have no scales.

Together with the spiny anterior dorsal fin ray and pectoral fin rays, they form a difficult snack for predators.


All Corydoras species can also survive in oxygen-poor water. They then shoot to the surface and take a gulp of air that is forced through the intestines. The intestines then take oxygen from the water.

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism with Corydoras is sometimes a bit difficult. Usually it is the female who is a bit larger and plumper than the male. The dorsal fin is also slightly different in shape. The male’s dorsal fin is somewhat pointed and the female’s is somewhat rounded.


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