A system called “C-Numbers”
Once upon a time when the catfish community was a small group of slightly weird guys dealing with fish that all the other aquarists liked to call scavengers my fishworld was nicely easy to overlook with a bunch of Cories we all knew, all did trying to breed and to be frank, a bit boring; in the late 80s the things drastically changed. The catfish mode grew and with some blinking stars like Hypancistrus zebra and Corydoras sterbai the most fashionable catfish took over the stage. Although mainly the Ancistrinae are the worlwide darlings, also the Corydoradinae were suddenly in the spotlight with more and more actors coming up, that we could not give a name to.
In germany the magazine DATZ invented a system of L-numbers to organize all the new plecos (family Loricariidae, subfamilies Ancistrinae and Hypostominae) coming in, which finally succeeded in being adapted by almost everybody in the world working with these fish. Now all fish exporters in South America are using this system, all aquarists, wholesalers and importers in Europe, in Asia or the United States and even in Australia are talking about L46 & Co..
For me it was clear that such a system is also useful for the vast number of undescribed Corydoradinae species that came up and so I implemented the C-code system in DATZ in the last days of 1993. During the past 10 years we came across 120 numbers of putatively undescribed species and there are still new ones to be introduced to the people. Like in the L-codes this system is not meant to be a scientific description. It is just a way to make the people all over the world talk about the same fish. There might be several C-numbers that have a scientific name already or the same species has been given a code twice. In such cases one can simply withdraw the C-code and use the correct name. In the past some C-numbers were described lateron or others could be positively identified as a certain species, e.g. after comparison with museum type material or topotypes. I prefer to give C-codes to such species that we have a more or less exact locality information of. Very often aquarists came across new species when dipping their nets in tropical waters. In such a case it is better to give the locality together with a C-code than to “describe” a species by accident under strange names. Some exporters in Peru and Brazil (e.g. companies Trop Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Aquarium Rio Momon,in Iquitos) or german importers like Aquarium Dietzenbach or Mimbon Aquarium send to me new species to be published in DATZ as a new C-number. Those guys very often do not have the exact locality but mostly they know the river basin where the species was collected in. Also the names that exporters often use for their novelties are dangerous as they sometimes got hooked in people´s mind and create nomina nuda when being published in aquarium magazines.
The list below shows all the C numbers either scientifically described after the code had been given or finally positively determined to be an already existing species. I will try to keep everybody updated from now on, so that this site shall help the people to find out, whichspecies they are talking about.
List of scientifically described and identified C-numbers
C1 - Corydoras incolicana Burgess, 1993
C46 - Corydoras kanei Grant, 1997
This is a list of the sizes, which both mail and female C-number species would be expected to reach under aquarium conditions. This list will be reviewed annually. C-numbers sizes