Everything About The Hoplo Catfish (Megalechis Thoracata)


The Hoplo catfish (Megalechis thoracata) is a ray-finned fish in the Ictaluridae family. They can be found in the upper sections of a number of African rivers, as well as Lake Chad. 

Hoplo catfish have a distinct call that can be heard up to a kilometer distant and is used to attract mates and fight off predators. The protrusion on the heads of these fish is utilized to filter food from the water. 

They’re also noted for their huge size and aggressive nature. Hoplo catfish are popular in aquariums due to their fascinating and varied activities.

Hoplo Catfish Appearance and Size

Hoplo catfish are medium-sized catfish that can grow to be up to six feet long and sixty-five pounds in weight. They have a huge mouth filled with sharp teeth, a muscular body, and a broad head. 

The Hoplo catfish can be pale green, dark olive, or even black in color. They have a yellow or orange stripe running along the middle of their back. They have a huge black patch on the side of their bodies that is easily identifiable.


The hoplo catfish’s dentition is unlike any other catfish’s. The upper and lower jawbones are united into a single structure, giving the fish the appearance of a “hoplo.” On each side of the head, seven-tooth rows make up the dentition. 

Small and pointed, the teeth are utilized to catch food. Lower jaw teeth are modified for grinding and crushing food, whereas upper jaw teeth are utilized for piercing. 

A broad central cusp is also present on the teeth, which is utilized to cut or tear prey. Hoplo catfish catch prey with their mouths.

Each row’s front two teeth are bigger and have serrated edges than the others. These teeth are used by Hoplo catfish to slice through prey.


Hoplo catfish can be found in a variety of habitats, although they prefer slow-moving water with vegetation and a clay, gravel, or sand substrate. They are browsers that eat invertebrates and tiny fish in the water. 

They favor densely forested places where they may hide from predators. Fish populations have been discovered in Florida, Louisiana, and Mexico. In Florida, mangrove wetlands are their favored habitat.

The fish were first discovered in Louisiana in 1975 in drainage canals in the New Orleans area. Hoplo catfish are endemic to eastern African rivers and streams, but they have spread across the continent and into portions of southern Asia.


Small fish, insects, and amphibians are all prey for the hoplo catfish, which is a carnivore. It has razor-sharp teeth that are well-suited to capturing prey. 

This species can be found in the Congo River basin’s higher reaches. The Ituri Rainforest and Lake Albert are also home to this species.


Many hobbyists are perplexed by the behavior of Hoplo catfish. Large groups of these fish are common, making them difficult to handle. According to some experts, these fish are aggressive and potentially hazardous. 

Others say the fish are curious and easy to train. Nobody knows what drives these fish, but they appear to like being in the company of humans. The Hoplo catfish isn’t a finicky eater.

They’ll consume just about anything they can get their hands on. Crustaceans, worms, insects, and even small fish fall within this category. Hoplo catfish have a reputation for being aggressive. 

They might be aggressive towards other Hoplo fish of the same species if they come upon them. They also rely on their quick swimming abilities to evade predators.

Hoplo catfish are a species of cichlid native to Africa. Their skin is recognized for its vibrant and unique patterns. Hoplo catfish are popular in aquariums due to their fascinating and varied activities.


The Amazon and Orinoco Rivers are home to the hoplo catfish, a tropical fish. The single known species of its genus, the hoplo catfish, is thought to be a relic from the evolutionary past. 

Hoplo catfish are unique in that they are the only species of fish that can reproduce asexually by budding. Thousands of eggs are produced by a female hoplo catfish at a time, which are fertilized outside of her body before being released back into the water. 

When the eggs are released, they sink to the bottom and are carried by currents to a new home. The juvenile hoplo catfish hatch from their eggs a few weeks later and swim away.

Threats to Survival

The hoplo catfish, a small freshwater fish native to Central Africa’s Congo River region, is in critical jeopardy.

Pollution, overfishing, and habitat loss have all contributed to a 50 percent decline in hoplo catfish populations in recent years. The existence of the hoplo catfish is also threatened by a more natural threat. 

The common carp, a key predator of this fish, is expanding its range and preying on hoplo populations in freshwater settings. The hoplo catfish could become extinct in a few decades if current trends continue.

Conservation Status

The hoplo catfish is a small, freshwater fish found in the basins of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the conservation status of the hoplo catfish as being of “least concern.” 

The main threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation, water pollution, and overfishing.


Spotted Hoplo Catfish

The spotted hoplo catfish belongs to the Ictaluridae family of ray-finned fish. It can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia in the upper sections of the Congo River and its tributaries. 

It prefers stony substrates in clean, fast-moving streams and lakes. These fish have a distinctive spot pattern on their skin that makes them simple to recognize and has earned them the moniker “spotted hoplo cats.” 

When protecting their area, these fish are frequently found in huge numbers and can be rather hostile. Insects, tiny fish, and crustaceans are eaten by the spotted hoplo catfish.

Spotty hoplo cats are a very new species of catfish, having just recently been identified and documented. Spotted hoplo cats are not classified a threatened or endangered species, despite their rarity.

Because spotted hoplo cats are a newcomer to the aquarium trade, nothing is known about their natural history or behavior. They are, however, considered timid and calm fish that make a fun addition to any aquarium.


Albino Hoplo Catfish

The albino hoplo catfish is a rare and unique fish species. Only a few tiny rivers in India and Bangladesh are known to have them. The albino hoplo catfish is the product of a genetic abnormality that causes them to be colorless. 

Collectors admire them for their color and ability to thrive in fast-moving water, and they are often regarded lovely and unique species. They are widely seen as a symbol of good fortune and may be purchased at numerous fish markets. 

The albino hoplo catfish is pale yellow with black markings on its body. The Indian Albinos, which have an orange tint to their bodies, and the Bangladeshi Albinos, who have a pinkish/red tint to their bodies, are the two known subspecies. 

Hoplo catfish that are albino are not endangered. The few albinos that have been discovered in the wild have been found in India near the Brahmaputra River and in Bangladesh near the Jamuna River.


Brown Hoplo Catfish

Brown hoplo catfish, also known as Alabama bluntnose catfish or brown trout, are a unique species of fish found in the Tennessee River’s lower reaches and tributaries. 

Brown hoplo catfish are the only catfish species in these locations with a bony protuberance on their heads known as a horn. 

They can use this ability to crack open hard-shelled prey like crayfish and turtles. The brown hoplo is a tough fish that can survive in a variety of water temperatures and pH levels. 

It matures at 3-4 inches in length and can survive for up to 12 years. Worms, crabs, and insects are among the things eaten by the brown hoplo. 

These cats are typically regarded as delicacies, and they are in high demand. They’re tough fish to capture because they’re aggressive.

Hoplo Fish and Gold Fish

Many people are unaware of the unique connection between these two species. Hoplo fish and goldfish are two of the world’s most popular aquarium pets. They’re not only stunning to look at, but they also have a mystique about them that has made them some of the most sought-after fish in the world.

Hoplo fish, also known as matai or ocellaris, are colorful tropical fish known for their lively nature. Goldfish, on the other hand, are available in a wide range of colors and types, as well as various forms and sizes. 

There are some parallels between these two types of fish, but there are also some significant variances. Some claim that the hoplo fish and goldfish are nearly identical creatures with minimal differences in appearance. 

They share many morphological characteristics, such as a slim body and a long, thin tail. The two species share certain behavior and habitats. They both live in densely forested areas and enjoy cool, clear water. 

The biggest major difference between them is their diet. Hoplo fish are mostly vegetarians who eat microscopic insects and other aquatic creatures. Goldfish are omnivores, meaning they consume a wide variety of foods. 

Plants and other animals have been observed consuming anything edible that comes into touch with them. Goldfish feed by sucking food from the water into their mouths. Another difference is that goldfish can live for many years, whereas Hoplo fish only live for a few months. 

The average longevity of a goldfish is five to seven years, but the average lifespan of a Hoplo fish is only two to three years.

Hoplo Catfish Lifespan

In the wild, most catfish survive for two to eight years. In captivity, some can live for up to 15 years or longer. A domestic catfish, on the other hand, has a 6- to 12-month lifespan. Diet, environment, and health issues are all elements that might affect one’s life expectancy. 

In terms of diet, catfish are omnivores. They can’t eat a lot of high-protein foods on their own, though. If fed a well-balanced diet that includes fishmeal, catfish can live up to 15 years or longer.

How To Care for Hoplo Catfish?

Hoplopoma auritum, a tropical fish, is known for its ability to survive in harsh environments. Hoplo catfish are one of the most popular varieties of this fish since they are easy to care for and provide aquarium owners with a lot of enjoyment. 

Hoplo catfish can be kept in a variety of environments, the most frequent of which are small, golden aquariums with plants and pebbles. Hoplo catfish are not known to be aggressive, although they will bite if provoked. 

If you have a hoplo catfish or any other type of catfish, you must provide correct care for it. Here are some tips on how to care for them:

  • A wide variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, should be fed to them.
  • Make sure their tank is clean and filled with fresh water.
  • Keep their tank at the right temperature, which should be around 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure there are no dead fish in the tank.
  • Start feeding them small amounts of food slowly.
  • Empty their tank if you’re not going to be home for a few days. This will prevent them from being hungry or feeling lonely.

Hoplo Catfish Temperament

Hoplo catfish are confined to Southeast Asia and are one of the gentler catfish species. They are a small, slender fish that can reach a length of 6-8 inches. Hoplo catfish are often sold as food fish in the United States, but they also make wonderful backyard pets. 

They’re peaceful and calm fish that do well in a well-kept aquarium or with other non-aggressive fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big does a hoplo catfish get?

Hoplo catfish are a typical tropical fish that may grow up to 6 feet long and weigh 40 pounds. They are also one of the most diverse and intriguing catfish species on the planet, with a wide range of colors and patterns.

Although Hoplo catfish are not as huge as other catfish species, they can still be hazardous predators if your fishing gear isn’t properly maintained.

Are hoplo catfish Aggressive?

The Hoplo catfish is a deadly fish that lives in the Congo River basin. These fish can reach a length of 2 feet and a weight of 24 pounds.

They’re known for their powerful teeth and fierce bite. Some people believe the hoplo catfish is aggressive because it eats piranhas and other aggressive fish. In the wild, hoplo catfish prey on smaller fish, therefore they might not be as violent in captivity.

Do hoplo catfish eat other fish?

Is it true that hoplo catfish consume other types of fish? For years, anglers have been baffled by this topic, as the common Hoplo catfish prefers a meat-heavy diet devoid of other species.

According to this research, some Hoplo catfish eat small amounts of other species, and this behavior is influenced by environmental factors.

Do hoplo catfish need a heater?

Keeping Hoplo catfish in captivity demands a special set of temperature and humidity conditions that are difficult to replicate in a home aquarium.

Hoplo catfish are native to Southeast Asia and may survive in temperatures as low as 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but they thrive in the range of 73 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to a certain temperature range, Hoplo catfish require a moderate to high humidity level of 85-90 percent.

What size tank do hoplo catfish need?

Size is an important consideration when choosing the right tank for a hoplo catfish. Unlike other fish that may be kept in tiny aquariums, hoplo cats need at least a 20-gallon tank to thrive.

If you plan on keeping more than one hoplo catfish or if you have a lot of plants and algae to care for, a larger tank may be a better option.

Hoplo catfish flourish when kept in groups of six or more. They are good swimmers and can be kept in a variety of water conditions, but they prefer a pH range of slightly acidic to neutral.

Hoplo catfish max size

The Hoplo catfish is a tropical African fish that may reach a length of 50 inches and a weight of 100 pounds. They are active predators who eat a wide range of foods, but their big size has made them popular as exotic pets.

As a result, the size of Hoplo catfish populations varies somewhat. Some are rather little, while others are quite enormous.

Are hoplo catfish rare?

Hoplopomas are a type of catfish that can be found in the southeastern US and Mexico. Hoplo catfish are extremely rare in the wild, with just 10,000 to 20,000 reported to live.

They can grow to be six feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. Hoplo catfish are popular among anglers due to their large size and ability to live in difficult-to-reach areas.

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