Scientific name: Homalopteroides tweediei (Herre, 1940)
Common name: Lizard fish, Lizard catfish, Gecko fish
Synonyms: Homaloptera tweediei
Distribution: Mekong basin, Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, Borneo, Cambodia, Loas and Thailand
Sexual Dimorphism: Unknown, Females are probably more plump with a broader body like the very similar Homaloptera smithi.
Maximum size: 2 inches (4cm)
Care: Typical Hillstream conditions. This species needs clean, well oxygenated water with a strong flow. There should be plenty of flat stones on which the fish can rest
and plenty of hiding places.
Driftwood, caves, broad leaved plants, and pieces of slate leaned against the tank glass provide refuge for this somewhat shy species.
Feeding: Bloodworms and brine shrimp are the preferred food of this species. Most processed fish foods are ignored.
Water parameters: pH:6.4 -7.5 Hardness: medium Max dh: 12
Temperature: 70ºF to 76ºF (21-25°C)
Breeding: There is no record of this species breeding in captivity.
Homalopteroides tweediei is unusual in that it has characteristics of both lizard-type and sucker-type Hillstream Loaches.
It has the typical wedge-shaped head and cylindrical body of the lizard-types and the flat pectoral and pelvic fins that are used to create the holding suction against current, similar to the sucker-types. Homalopteroides tweediei is distinguished from Homalopteroides smithi in that its pelvic and pectoral fins do not overlap.
The common names Lizard fish and Gecko fish are very descriptive of this species. Its textured scales, camouflage capabilities, stealthy, stalking actions and articulated neck that can pivot 45 degrees, all are reminiscent of Geckos and other lizards. It can be very entertaining to watch this stealthy hunter carefully stalk a bloodworm and then suddenly strike its prey with surprising speed. Unlike Homaloptera species such as H. orthogoniata, Homalopteroides tweediei is a true hunter and will ignore most prepared aquarium foods. They do not seem to graze on rocks like many Hillstream species. Therefore, due consideration should be given to ensure it does not starve. H. tweediei is a very mellow fish, and will get along well with other Hillstreams, though boisterous, active tank mates should be avoided as they may steal most of the food before this species gets enough to eat.
It should be noted, however, that it may not be the best fish to keep in a river tank with breeding hillstreams as it may feed on the fry.
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