Pygmy Leopard Catfish (Everything You Need to Know)

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Featured Image

Pygmy Leopard Catfish, also known as Cuckoo Catfish, is a species of catfish that inhabits Lake Tanganyika in four countries including Burundi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania.

It got its name from Belgian ichthyologist Hubert Matthes who described it first in 1959.

This fish lives among rocks and lay eggs instead of giving birth to babies.

Its scientific name “petricola” comes from two Latin words meaning rock and inhabitant which explains where they are usually found.

You can check out what this fish looks like over here.

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Interesting Facts

  • Pygmy leopard catfish is also known as pygmy cuckoo catfish.
  • It can only be found in Burundi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania (specifically Lake Tanganyika).
  • This fish was first described by a Belgian ichthyologist named Hubert Matthes in 1959.
  • This species is named “petricola” because it lives among rocks.

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Habitat

Pygmy leopard catfish is found in Lake Tanganyika, located in Africa. This fish is found in freshwater environments.

They are benthopelagic, meaning they swim close to the bottom of the water.

Pygmy leopard catfish prefer a pH range of 8.0 to 9.0, a water hardness (dH) range of 9 to 19, and water temperatures between 72°F to 77°F (22°C to 25°C).

This fish is found in tropical areas, specifically between 3° South and 9° South latitude.

Water Temperature:72°F to 77°F (22°C to 25°C)
Water pH:8.0 to 9.0 pH
Water Hardness:9 to 19 dH

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 4 inches (10.2 centimeters)

Pygmy leopard catfish can grow up to a maximum length of 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), when fully grown.

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Reproduction

Pygmy leopard catfish is oviparous, meaning it lays eggs.

When it’s time for breeding, this fish forms distinct pairs for mating.

Pygmy Leopard Catfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Synodontis petricola
Also Known As:Pygmy Leopard Catfish, Cuckoo Catfish
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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