Firewood catfish

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Firewood catfish
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Pimelodidae
Genus: Sorubimichthys
Bleeker, 1862
S. planiceps
Binomial name
Sorubimichthys planiceps
(Spix & Agassiz, 1829)
  • Sorubim jandia
    Spix, 1829
  • Sorubim Pirauáca
    Spix & Agassiz, 1829
  • Platystoma planiceps
    Spix & Agassiz, 1829
  • Platystoma spatula
    Spix & Agassiz, 1829
  • Sorubimichthys spatula
    (Spix & Agassiz, 1829)
  • Sorubimichthys ortoni
    Gill, 1870
  • Pteroglanis manni
    Eigenmann & Pearson, 1924

The firewood catfish (Sorubimichthys planiceps) a species of South American pimelodid catfish, is the sole member of the genus Sorubimichthys. Known by locals along the Amazon Basin as peixe-lenha,[1] the firewood catfish is so called because it is of little eating value and is often dried and used for firewood.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Firewood catfish occur in the Orinoco and Amazon Basins.[3] It is normally found in whitewater high in suspended sediments.[4]

Appearance and anatomy[edit]

This species attains about 150 cm (5 ft) in standard length.[3]

These fish change in appearance as they grow.[5] In adults, the upper jaw is extremely long, about one-third the length of the snout.[5] The dorsum is ash-gray with darker spots. The sides have a white band, bordered below by a dark gray or brown band. The venter is usually white with some large spots. The dorsal fin and adipose fin are spotted.[5] However, in juveniles, the snout is short and the pectoral fins are large and rounded. The white band does not appear until the fish is about 40 0m (1.6 in).[clarification needed] The full adult color pattern and fin shapes appear by at least 20 cm (8 in).[5]


This fish is mainly nocturnal.[3] Firewood catfish are highly predatory and feed on other fish.[4]


  1. ^ The Catfish Connection-Ronaldo Barthem and Michael Goulding pg. 38
  2. ^ Sorubimichthys planiceps (Spix & Agassiz, 1829)
  3. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2012). "Sorubimichthys planiceps" in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  4. ^ a b "PlanetCatfish::Cat-eLog::Pimelodidae::Sorubimichthys planiceps". 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
  5. ^ a b c d Lundberg, John G.; Nass, Pedro; Mago-Leccia, Francisco (1989). "Pteroglanis manni Eigenmann and Pearson, a Juvenile of Sorubimichthys planiceps (Agassiz), with a Review of the Nominal Species of Sorubimichthys (Pisces: Pimelodidae)". Copeia. Copeia, Vol. 1989, No. 2. 1989 (2): 332–344. doi:10.2307/1445429. JSTOR 1445429.