Catfish Logo Full
Catfish Logo Half
Catfish Logo Head
PlanetCatfish.com logo
Please visit Swiss Tropicals, proud sponsor of PlanetCatfish.com

Cat-eLog Right Arrow Loricariidae Right Arrow Hypostominae Right Arrow Hypostomus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Hypostomus plecostomus  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s) Plecostomus
Saugmaulwels (Germany)
Type Locality Suriname.
Synonym(s) Acipenser plecostomus, Hypostomus guacari, Loricaria flava, Plecostomus bicirrosus, Plecostomus brasiliensis, Plecostomus plecostomus
Pronunciation hi POSS tow muss - PLEK oss toe mus
Etymology Greek, hypo = under + Greek, stoma = mouth. pleco = sucker, stomus = mouth.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 300mm (11.8") SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Due to the number of species in the genus, identification is very difficult without exact provenance of the specimen. Most ''common plecos'' are now exported from Peru and Brazil. Photos of the real H. plecostomus are common in aquarium literature from the 1960s and 70s when ''common plecos'' were exported from Venezuela, Suriname, and the Guyanas.
Sexing Large adult males possess thickened pectoral fins that turn reddish pink. Gravid adult females appear thicker when viewed from above.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Throughout northern South America and Trinidad. Also found throughout the Orinoco basin, although some authors believe that Orinoco specimens may represent a different species. The photographs above are all of H. plecostomus from the Orinoco basin. Weber (2003) restricted distribution to coastal drainages of the Guianas.
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 - 8.0
Temperature 20.0-30.0°C or 68-86°F (Show others within this range)
Other Parameters In nature, this fish is common in slower portions of larger rivers. It inhabits nearly every environment from riffles, the river banks, and driftwood snags.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A true omnivore that will eat anything. The diet should be primarily vegetarian.
Furniture Ideally a large tank with driftwood and a few caves. Substrate is unimportant.
Compatibility Larger specimens can be territorial, but they rarely cause damage to tankmates. Smaller fishes are ignored.
Suggested Tankmates Keep with medium to large sized community fishes or most American cichlids.
Breeding Probably never accomplished. They normally spawn in holes in the river bank, but I have also captured this species in mountain rivers and ponds that did not have earthen banks. In these habitats it must spawn in caves formed by rocks and/or driftwood.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Systema Nat. ed. 10v. 1 - pp238
Registered Keepers (1) MatsP, who also notes: "Not sure it was EXACTLY this species, as they are notoriously difficult to identify. I had two different ones, but only one at a time.", (2) Trident2004, (3) Chrysichthys, (4) Cooky_luvs (p: 7), (5) teddyman5, (6) nslott (k: 2), (7) synodontisjack, (8) SalmonAfrica, (9) Ill (p: 2), (10) kubastanik, (11) cymrucat, (12) Nick44, (13) KTLM, (14) Leah1976, (15) ewurm, (16) howdenend, (17) boo909, (18) makok, (19) drplec, (20) marangmic, (21) TheFishGuy, (22) Jonaseddie, (23) Nuno Mendes, (24) tunafish, (25) Sciencehero, (26) acuarista36, (27) Stackdeck, (28) arapaimag (k: 41), (29) sasdrum, (30) GER1023, who also notes: "Fish is 6 inches not mm.", (31) milosz, (32) james gilbertson, (33) babybarnyard, who also notes: "Small Albino Slow growing but intensely active in the tank", (34) Brisch, (35) Quickening, (36) kristovski, (37) Ysori, (38) Mikey1973 (k: 2), (39) festaedan, (40) River Birzer, (41) bekateen (k: 2), (42) Brett1998.

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.
Search Planet Catfish Search Planet Catfish for more on Hypostomus plecostomus
Look up AquaticRepublic.com Look up Hypostomus plecostomus 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 Hypostomus plecostomus on Fishbase
QR icon Get or print a QR code for this species profile, or try our BETA label creator.
Hits 43733 hits.
Last Update 2011 Sep 28 07:40 (species record created: 2001 May 05 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.