Category:Corydoras/The Poison of Corydoras

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The Poison of the Corydoras[edit]

Many species of Corydoras have a poisonous self-defence mechanism against being eaten by much larger fish. All Corys have very sharp fin spines and some seem to give off a low level toxic chemical into the water when frightened or highly stressed.[1] This toxin is believed to be only mildly irritating to people and only if the person is stressing and handling the Cory with their bare hands and is stung.[2] [3]


A rare but recorded event is that at least some some species of Corys appear to be capable of releasing a poisonous mucus from its gills when alarmed which causes itself and other fish in confined volumes of water to rapidly die. Species believed to show this trait are C. adolfoi, C. arcuatus, C. melini, C. metae, C. panda, C. robineae', C. rabauti, C. atropersonatus, C. sterbai and C. trilineatus. This ability is poorly researched and other Corydoras species may be affected. [4][5]
  1. David Sands in his 1982 publication "Catfishes of the World" vol. 1. ISBN 0-444-42282-X
  2. Corydoras owners discussing Poisonous spines in Corys
  3. Diversity, phylogenetic distribution, and origins of venomous catfishes by Jeremy J Wright, 2009.
  4. PFK issue 10 Oct 2008:page 26-Ian Fuller
  5. new atropersonatus batch

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