The developmental stages for the embryonic and larval periods of the silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) kept at different temperatures (21, 24, 27 and 30°C) are described. Fish were analysed under light and scanning electron microscopy. For embryonic development, we described 25 stages, which were grouped into seven periods named zygote, cleavage, blastula, gastrula, segmentation, pharyngula and hatching periods. For larval development, we defined three stages (early, mid, and late larvae). Additionally, the main ontogenetic events during the post-larvae and early juvenile periods were also described. This species presents a well developped lateral line and chemosensory systems that grow up during the larval period, maturing in the post-larvae. All tested temperatures are viable to R. quelen development, but a shorter incubation period was necessary to complete the development at lower temperatures. However, some malformations (heart edema) were verified at 30°C.