There are currently four recognized species in this genus:
- Leiarius arekaima (Jardine, 1841)
- Leiarius longibarbis (Castelnau, 1855)
- Leiarius marmoratus (Gill, 1870) (Marbled catfish, Marbled pim)
- Leiarius pictus (Müller & Troschel, 1849) (Marbled sailfin catfish, Sailfin pim)
Anatomy and physiology
These two species can be easily confused. The body of L. pictus is brown with darker brown spots, with a paler ventral coloring. In juvenile L. pictus, two parallel, pale bands curve from the dorsal fin down the body towards the caudal fin. In young fish of both species, the maxillary barbels are very long and ringed with black and white. As both of these species grow, their barbels will shorten in proportion to their size, and the caudal fin lobes, which are rounded in the young, become much more pointed. As L. marmoratus grows older, it darkens and its dark spots develop into a marbled pattern. Both species have a large, sail-like dorsal fin.
There are no external sexual differences.
Range and distribution
L. marmoratus inhabits riverbeds, deep wells, and lakes. Young or sub-adults form large schools. This species prefers to lay over rock and tree trunks during the day, being more active at sunrise, sunset, and night.
Importance to humans
Both L. marmoratus and L. pictus are ornamental fish kept as pets in the aquarium hobby. They have a voracious appetite and can grow rapidly, and therefore should be kept in a very large aquarium. These fish are peaceful towards other large fish. Some sort of retreat to allow these fish to hide during the day is required. These fish get very large and are not recommended for the average aquarist.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Leiarius in FishBase. February 2012 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Leiarius marmoratus" in FishBase. June 2007 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Leiarius pictus" in FishBase. June 2007 version.
- "PlanetCatfish::Catfish of the Month::April 2003". PlanetCatfish.com. 2007-01-24. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
- Axelrod, Herbert R.; Emmens, C.; Burgess, W.; Pronek, N. (1996). Exotic Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-87666-543-1.
- Fenner, Robert. "Shovelnoses, Pictus, Tigers and More, The Antennae Catfishes, Family Pimelodidae". Retrieved 2007-06-22.