Catfish Logo Full
Catfish Logo Half
Catfish Logo Head
PlanetCatfish.com logo
Please visit Amazonas Magazine, proud sponsors of PlanetCatfish.com

Cat-eLog Right Arrow Loricariidae Right Arrow Hypostominae Right Arrow Pterygoplichthys

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps  (Kner, 1854)
Common Name(s) L083, Sail Fin Pleco
L165, Gibby, Waben-Schilderwels (Germany)
Type Locality Rio Negro bei Marabitanos
Synonym(s) Ancistrus gibbiceps, Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps, Liposarcus altipinnis
Pronunciation terry gop LICK thees - gibb EE seps
Etymology Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish. This specific epithet refers to the hump (gibbus=hump) on its head (kephale=head).
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 450mm (17.7") SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Pterygoplichthys can be identified by the number of rays in the dorsal fin. More than 10 indicates that it's a Pterygoplichthys. Most other plecos have 8 or fewer rays (in particular the larger Hypostomus species that are most likely to be confused with Pterygoplichthys).

The trademark spotted sailfin makes this a distinctive species.
Sexing Comparison of the genital papilla in mature fish shows the differences in the sexes to the trained eye. In males this is a small yet thick stump which noticeably protrudes from the fish's undercarriage. In females it is less obvious and is recessed or lies flat with the body.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Widespread throughout the Peruvian & Brazilian Amazon. Also known from the Rio Orinoco.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
pH 6.5 - 7.8
Temperature 23.0-27.0°C or 73.4-80.6°F (Show others within this range)
Other Parameters Larger fish require heavy filtration, not because they are fussy about water quality, but because of the high volumes of waste they produce.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Lettuce, Peas, Frozen Spinach and any prepared food that reaches the bottom. Larger fish enjoy prawns or pieces of freshwater trout. Algae (especially soft brown) will be eaten immediately.
Furniture An appropriately sized shady retreat is all this fish requires. Will not eat plants, but any individual larger then 100mm or so may inadvertently pull up plants that are not entirely established. Larger fish require heavy filtration, not because they are fussy about water quality, but because of the high volumes of waste they produce.
Compatibility Larger individuals are territorial to conspecifics however not predatory and able to look after itself with all but the most violent tank mates.
Suggested Tankmates Hardy and stoic, a good companion fish for most larger fishes. Not a good pleco to keep with other similarly sized, less gregarious plecos as the P. gibbiceps will usually win any competition for food.
Breeding Although commercially farmed, spawning in a home aquarium would be very difficult to achieve as a large wall of mud (I.E. a river bank) is tunnelled into and used for the incubation / hatching process. Large tunnels and fish would be required in a super-size aquarium.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe. v. 7, pp 284 [34], Pl. 5 (fig. 2)
Registered Keepers (1) synoguy, (2) natefrog, (3) kcmt01, (4) arapaima, (5) Daniel Machado, (6) walkinjay81, (7) spencerdeluxe, (8) dewitt_discus, (9) Trident2004, (10) vriesea (k: 2), who also notes: "Very beautiful and common pleco. Do a great job of keeping the tank clean.", (11) Chrysichthys, (12) Lornek8, (13) lordotterby, (14) guillermo racines, (15) fmagnier, (16) guyvw (p: 2), (17) clunkster, (18) woofess, (19) petri, (20) FishGeek, (21) VirgoWolf, (22) FuglyDragon, (23) nettaigyo, (24) Zigismund, who also notes: " This is exciting.. A new Cat and fairly big as well(18cm) :-) Hope my 420L Malawi tank will do..", (25) Jack McDonald, who also notes: "Mine is quite secretive, coming out only when all is quiet in the house. ", (26) Owch, (27) Cicolid, (28) Cooky_luvs, (29) morkaren, (30) Chi-Chi, (31) MisanthropeKitty, (32) Kattes (p: 2), (33) pleco_keepin_bear, (34) gixir, (35) humle, (36) bluenewt, (37) anthony mcdonald, (38) Bas Pels (k: 2), (39) yogi69 (k: 2), who also notes: "both have about 4"", (40) kurasaki, (41) Benjamin, (42) Picklee (p: 3), (43) holing007, (44) DutchFry, (45) Carp37, (46) H-TRAIN, (47) Landlubber, (48) Snowy (k: 15), (49) Simonh1, (50) rosemarydawn, (51) lene.keiserud, (52) Junttis, (53) mouseninja (p: 2), (54) alcyst (p: 3), (55) killerklown, (56) steelhead99, (57) tezr, (58) loloveto, (59) jippo, (60) Ben-cgn, (61) gmer4life, who also notes: "i saw this fish and had to have it. its got an amazing dorsal fin.", (62) jb92 (k: 4), (63) Troender, (64) CoryLoachFreak (p: 2), (65) theonetruepath, (66) fraggle, (67) JohnB, (68) Colin Keightley (p: 2, k: 2), (69) NHL, (70) RayGnz (k: 2), (71) myrheksa (k: 4), (72) midnightrider, (73) Pungen (k: 4), (74) TheSpuDGuN, (75) joe.juice13, (76) Plunt, (77) SoCalDiscus, (78) Moosipher (p: 2, k: 2), (79) pirate monkey (p: 2, k: 2), who also notes: "Eats pretty much anything, loves veg. Very active plec.", (80) miravns, (81) kubastanik, (82) canuckgirleh, (83) aledk85, (84) Numbers, (85) MADRacing (k: 4), (86) aaalrust, (87) panaquesta (p: 6), (88) Violence, (89) launcap, who also notes: "About 14 inches long. Got it as an adult in 1998", (90) Lubbe, (91) Tasplec (k: 2), (92) inkyjenn, (93) iam1ru12 (p: 2, k: 2), who also notes: "Albino", (94) plecko, (95) cathje (k: 2), (96) Growler, (97) HeadHunter, (98) speedy231278 (p: 2, k: 3), (99) whitewaves, (100) gwa84, (101) dr_evil_01 (k: 2), (102) doesdavid, (103) TE72, (104) Sandtiger, (105) smallpurplecat (p: 2), (106) Khalid, (107) Static, (108) fusco, (109) Tracey, (110) Breezer, (111) ElTofi (p: 2, k: 2), who also notes: "a sweetheart... of 45 cm yet ! in the 1600 liters...", (112) pmbooper (k: 2), who also notes: "4 inch sailfin in 40 gal. moving 7 inch sailfin to 1000 gal. ", (113) Turbo, (114) andy.cole94, (115) Pain, (116) Juha, (117) drgold (k: 2), (118) Mike C, (119) Lenna, (120) judeblackburn, (121) Munky, (122) vernonlarge, (123) aznfish, (124) nyamaoan (k: 2), (125) oliv67, (126) Freddy, (127) Flex, (128) saphphx, (129) jprp, (130) Derzel, (131) raymond, (132) matthewfaulkner, (133) naturalart, (134) Helghan Sniper, (135) lnumbers63 (k: 2), who also notes: "As at 25/10/2009 I have 2 - about 14" and 10" in length. Larger fish a beautiful specimen with great sailfin and tail. These fish are great in a larger community tank but do produce a lot of waste.", (136) Gibbiceps, (137) niallborwell, (138) drpleco, (139) ligon, (140) misscoturnix, (141) Wallace (k: 2), (142) jscoggs27 (k: 3), (143) makok, (144) pickles4601, (145) sampster5000, (146) cory777, (147) EHEIM~ADDICT (p: 2), (148) duequattro, (149) Bartman (k: 2), (150) smitty (p: 4, k: 4), (151) puresp (k: 2), (152) Tony, (153) drgnfrc13, (154) salvador60, (155) Jonaseddie, (156) wimmels, (157) natteheks, (158) nixmix, (159) tinamoubird, (160) bcmitchell, (161) jnakers, (162) tijani, (163) GER1023, (164) robb harriston (k: 2), (165) highoctane500 (p: 2, k: 2), (166) NC24, (167) wolverine2031, (168) Sooperblooper, (169) Brisch, (170) plecorocks, (171) danlinn, (172) tsoum, who also notes: "Great plec, with great personality!", (173) aquaoahu, (174) jenniebean, (175) andysfishhouse, (176) Profiel310 (p: 2), (177) WoonyFishMan, (178) Joost, (179) theviper06, who also notes: "Leo", (180) simmy, (181) Darren Balch, (182) Mezel, (183) nerdoutlaw (k: 2), (184) bluestbluedog, (185) arapaimag, (186) dav, (187) tomk2u, (188) linden09, (189) tsvjus, (190) clydeboy (k: 2), (191) Dan101, (192) Seagirt, (193) milosz, (194) Kataterfish (k: 2), (195) wendy333, (196) tomr (k: 2), (197) Alisana, (198) aeonone87, (199) banuisce, (200) allpuffedup, who also notes: "He is the spunkiest fish I know. He's super-active (even during the day) and LOVES fresh zucchini. When I got him, I had a pretty bad algae problem, but he ate through all of it in 24 hours. Lots of fun to keep, very entertaining. And he doesn't care at all that my cats chase him all day.", (201) Bruton, (202) diikis (p: 2), (203) Margie (k: 2), (204) vman, (205) henward, (206) Mcjlance, (207) nedara, (208) crusnik (k: 2), who also notes: "Two small ones, round 23cm", (209) slimrs, (210) BernieEcht, (211) AndyW555, (212) CrystalCatfish, (213) Michael_Wanga, (214) yogi88, (215) Med90, who also notes: "My gibbiceps always loses a fight for food against a common pleco and generaly backs away at the sight of a common pleco", (216) todd1978, (217) Dotty66, (218) mjh712, (219) thefredpit, (220) victoriaz24, (221) seriouslycichlids (k: 2), (222) pereli, (223) kawa85, (224) merit, (225) mikemaes, who also notes: "Dumped in my favorite shop by previous owners for growing to large. In my tank he (she) grew 50mm in 4 months.", (226) Xoffus, who also notes: "I have an albino, a very friendly active pleco, I spot it at any give time during the day, always scrounging around, not territorial in any sence,sits on wood, plants and glass.", (227) dvdrew, (228) miguel mitchel, (229) agustingonzalez, (230) linuxrulesusa (k: 3), (231) AlphaWolf1995, (232) sem87, (233) James.feenan, (234) jonhybravo2 (k: 2), who also notes: "I have two of these I believe. One looks almost like the picture on the site and the other I question. The smaller of the two I am sure is a common but has not grown much since I bought it. The other has grown like I has given it fertilizer. The dorsal and tail fin have a orange trim on them which makes me wonder about it. It is beautiful and big but not sure what it is.", (235) mrsjdean, (236) ahasting, (237) stephen.mabwa (k: 2), (238) metalrobotdog, (239) bullseyejoey4, (240) p44236, (241) Animusartificio, (242) Dark Rose, who also notes: "Wrong species tagged, still waiting on correct ID.", (243) BlackSouL, (244) ryanj612, (245) Jacksta (k: 2), (246) RichardD, (247) daniel60, (248) nicofish, (249) emacartoon, (250) slayer5590, (251) camillajakobsen93 (k: 2), (252) lightseeker5000, who also notes: "Got with a 55 gal i bought in local ads. with 3 yellow hybrid? electric yellow cichlids", (253) Divemaster, (254) Shanaitan, (255) inatthedeepend, who also notes: "We think he(she?) is beautiful - although developing the stockier form that apparently characterises the female of the species. Since I can't afford a 10 foot tank, and the breeding requirement are a little difficult, we may never know, although currently we're calling her "Lady Pleckington-Smythe".", (256) funkyt, (257) Norbert, (258) kieshara, (259) Altifrons, (260) ChristianKline, (261) PlecoLover2721, (262) secuono, (263) GreenSynoMan.

Click on a username above to see all that persons registered catfish species. You can also view all "my cats" data for this species.
Breeding Reports None.
Articles
Article - CotM 1997 July
Search Planet Catfish Search Planet Catfish for more on Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps
Look up AquaticRepublic.com Look up Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps on AquaticRepublic.com
BBCode (for use in linking to this page from forum posts)
Link (for use in linking to the species from anywhere on the web)
Look up Fishbase Look up Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps on Fishbase
QR icon Get or print a QR code for this species profile, or try our BETA label creator.
Hits 12678 hits.
Last Update 2014 Mar 31 12:19 (species record created: 2001 Apr 28 00:00)


© 1996 - 2014 PlanetCatfish.com, part of the Aquatic Republic Network group of websites. All Rights Reserved. By accessing this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use.