Corydoras sterbai

Common Names: N/A

Type Locality: Rio GuaporÉ, Brazil

Range: Central Brazil and Bolivia

Taxonomic Troubles: This is the original name. The species is often misspelled sterbae.

Size: 6.8 cm SL (2.7 inches).

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical freshwater, tolerates higher temperatures than some other Corydoras, making it a good choice for a discus tank. It is found naturally in a wide range of pH and hardness.

Difficulty: A typical hardy cory cat, if tank raised, and perfect for beginners. Wild imports can be sensitive.

Tank Setup: Smooth gravel, hiding places, and peaceful tankmates. Should be kept in groups of at least six.

Feeding: Omnivorous. Will eagerly eat all types of foods but especially loves rooting live worms out of the substrate.

Breeding: Breeds as is typical for the genus.

Fish Description

Markings are quite variable as spots, stripes, and vermiculations, but they are generally light spots on a dark background on the head, changing to dark horizontal stripes on a light background posteriorally and on the fins. A variable golden coloration highlights the belly, head, and paired fins. The pectoral spines in particular are a vivid gold. An albino form is already established in the hobby.


This is a striking cory, and a large school in a large planted tank makes a magnificent display. It has been popular since it was introduced, and although it is still frequently imported, tank-raised specimens are also commonly available. Wild fish are expensive, but captive-bred fish are cheaper and a much better choice for anyone other than a cory specialist. Lone specimens are sad shadows of healthy individuals kept in groups, and the comical antics of a school of cory cats can entertain for hours. The most striking feature of this species is the bright gold color on the pectoral spines, highlighting this beautiful fish with a warm glow.