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Platydoras armatulus

Platydoras armatulus
Striped Raphael Doradid
Striped Raphael catfish, Platydoras armatulus, is a catfish of the family Doradidae. It may also be called 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 costatus. The striped Raphael catfish are commonly found in the Amazon, Tocantins, Parnaíba, Orinoco, Essequibo Rivers in French Guiana and Suriname of South America. 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 cm.
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. 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.