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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pterygoplichthys pardalis  (Castlenau, 1855)
Common Name(s) L021, Common Pleco
L023, Albino Pleco, Amazon Sailfin Pleco, Chocolate Pleco, Janitor Fish
Type Locality Amazon River, Brazil.
Synonym(s) Hypostomus pardalis, Liposarcus jeanesianus, Liposarcus pardalis, Liposarcus varius
Pronunciation terry gop LICK thees - par dah liss
Etymology Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 350mm (13.8") 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).

Is also L023. A relatively nondescript species that is unlikely to be imported as an L number. An amelanistic form has also been fixed by US and SE Asian commercial fish farms and is commonly sold as the "chocolate pleco". As they are bred in huge numbers by commercial fish farms, this is currently the most commonly available loricariid and can be found for sale in nearly all the larger chain-type pet stores.

This species is most likely to be confused with P. disjunctivus. The pattern on the abdomen is the most useful external key: P. pardalis has a spotted pattern, where P. disjunctivus has a vermiculated pattern. For more info see: Zootaxa 1109: 57?68 (2006)
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.
General Remarks It is important to note that the term "common pleco" is applied to several nondescript loricariid species, especially of the genera Pterygoplichthys and Hypostomus.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Widespread in the amazon river system.
Amazon (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 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature 21.0-26.0°C or 69.8-78.8°F (Show others within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivorous and a good algae eater, especially when young.
Furniture Larger fish will unwittingly uproot plants. Large plastic or ceramic pipes are best for hiding places.
Compatibility Peaceful as far as large plecos go.
Suggested Tankmates Almost any medium sized community fish.
Breeding Commercially bred in outdoor ponds in both the U.S. and Far East.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Animaux nouveaux or rares v. 2, pp42, Pl. 20 (fig. 3).
Registered Keepers (1) xingumike, (2) daniel60, (3) Sktchy, (4) dewitt_discus, (5) Trident2004, (6) deter00005, (7) jenny, (8) Travis_Conklin, (9) Noesis, (10) Foster9011 (k: 2), who also notes: "I have almost always kept a common pleco in my Amazon tank. I've kept commons with Oscars for almost 10 years. These fish get large and need a 75 gallon or large aquarium. For those of you with 10 gallon aquariums, look for some of the ancistrus species or clown plecos that don't get too big for your tank.", (11) mikelouth, (12) chrismarkham1982, (13) call_apple (k: 2), (14) Topaztas, (15) Demon_fish (p: 5), (16) slikjim, (17) ani-mal-lvr (k: 3), (18) FuglyDragon, (19) MatsP, who also notes: ""Inherited" a mature specimen from "friend of a friend" who was getting rid of the tank - along with a dozen Malawi Cichlids.", (20) fishie650, (21) ElectricYellowPlecostomus, (22) vernonlarge, (23) HylaChristine, (24) Brian W C (k: 2), who also notes: "Both Currently 1.5" long", (25) Chi-Chi (p: 2), (26) BK, (27) artemis1 (p: 2), (28) dr_evil_01, who also notes: "Albino Variety", (29) killerklown (p: 2), (30) Kjlossman, (31) gixir, (32) Belial, (33) Osiris, (34) matthi22004, (35) zvirus, (36) Benjamin (k: 3), (37) unkaface, (38) DutchFry, (39) holing007 (k: 2), (40) Landlubber, (41) Gopherboy, (42) Snowy (p: 3, k: 13), who also notes: "Gold Spot Pleco (Australian common name) ", "Common Pleco ", (43) Plecofanatic1989 (k: 2), (44) GoGoCactus, (45) darkwolf29a, (46) Colin Keightley, (47) obik101, (48) zenyfish, (49) janev, (50) silentskream, who also notes: "Grow very quickly in the right environment. Ours was only 2 inches long when we got it.. now nearly a foot and a half. Very interesting now that he's larger we can see the very fine spiny exterior. Absolutely Fascinating to watch!", (51) Tribble, (52) Kara, (53) Serian, (54) steelhead99, (55) brettjurgens, (56) onyx_rose7145, (57) jordant (k: 2), (58) Jeox, (59) gmer4life (p: 2, k: 3), who also notes: "albino. its one of my favorite plecos", (60) jb92 (k: 4), (61) Troender, (62) Cdn Glenwood (p: 2), (63) Loracidlover, (64) vriesea (k: 3), who also notes: "Bought 3 at same time placed 2 in my pond. Excellent at removing algae from pond. Place in aquarium during cold weather. Pond versions are 3 - 4 times bigger than version keep in aquarium.", (65) Plunt, (66) astroaquaria, (67) wardcorp (k: 2), (68) joe.juice13, (69) aledk85 (k: 2), who also notes: "1 common 1 albino", (70) Mariea, (71) pureplecs, (72) pressureflip, (73) JayC, (74) toehead11183, (75) abradley (p: 2, k: 3), (76) theshiner72, (77) Violence, (78) Jeff12, (79) zedogz (p: 21), (80) ranmasan, who also notes: ""chocolate/albino" form -- moved to Indoor Pond #2 on 11-08-08. Bio load too much for tanks to handle: bacterial septicemia in tank. Quarentined, treated & donated to LFS once recovered.", (81) Complecs, (82) cathje (p: 2, k: 4), (83) NHL (k: 3), (84) shawntraviss, (85) speedy231278, (86) Gayle, (87) doesdavid (k: 5), (88) Shovelnose (k: 3), (89) junaid, (90) Marguarretthe, (91) stratofish, (92) Rafael_BR, (93) Khalid (p: 2), (94) chralis, (95) Tracey, (96) Patches, (97) ray_c, (98) pmbooper (k: 2), who also notes: "6 inch pleco in 200 gal.-10 inch pleco in 1000 gal.", (99) Arherp, (100) Deano089, (101) vman, (102) andy.cole94, (103) royaldragoness, who also notes: "Albino Version ", (104) phenix, (105) andywoolloo, (106) sabwitch, (107) carolynkline (p: 2), (108) he that is i (k: 2), who also notes: "Both are albino ", (109) anglerfishuk, (110) chemma, (111) BigMu, (112) drgold, (113) nomuken (k: 3), (114) liam..essex, (115) Dacian, (116) judeblackburn, (117) theonetruepath (k: 2), who also notes: "Bought as a 'Golden pleco', Aquotix Albino version", (118) djinn75, (119) Joanne, (120) TheSmurfinator, (121) Hoyo12, (122) saphphx, (123) Greggyfest (k: 4), (124) raymond, (125) kaleidoskope (k: 2), who also notes: "1 chocolate albino, 1 ivory albino (with brown rings around the eyes).", (126) stuart henson, (127) Gibbiceps, (128) chrisinha (p: 2), (129) KittyKat, (130) drpleco, (131) LowClassCC, (132) Void (k: 2), (133) oli (k: 3), (134) Nichof, (135) Irish Goliath, (136) Ullopincrate, (137) errichello5, (138) dpk2313, (139) fishpimpin, (140) sampster5000, (141) warrior_wolf73, (142) Armyngmike1982, (143) smitty (p: 2, k: 2), who also notes: "Originally kept in 180gal tank. Moved to 150gal tank on 9/14/2010. Returned to 180gal Aquarium on 5/06/2011 due to heavy brown algae growth on. 7/11/2012 11 1/4" 8/29/2012 Ptergoplichthys Pardalis found dead at bottom of 150 gal Tank.", (144) sterlingtjones, (145) Astrea, (146) kungfuteacher, (147) cichlidman16yearsold (k: 30), (148) amirbabak1979, (149) Ozcattie, (150) wimmels, (151) otgarza, (152) marinebalaji, (153) tiffanyjayne, (154) knockout (k: 2), (155) FunkyFredFrog, (156) jenniebean, (157) Sciencehero, (158) Dan101 (p: 2), (159) kemozabi, (160) fishermandan (k: 2), (161) Plecfan_82, (162) glenny, who also notes: "My oldest catfish.", (163) bluestbluedog, (164) tropicalfishlover, (165) Mezel, (166) oldman60, (167) Ecrevince (k: 2), (168) Sam, (169) Hitch, (170) ElTofi, who also notes: "September 2011 : Saved this skinny one from a 300 liters where it was starving... after 2 days, it begins to eat and slightly swim... very softly... eventually, it will survive... April 2012 : it has survived... it's thriving... 37 cm TL and very healthy...", (171) Duster1971, (172) Hapahound1971, (173) Seagirt (k: 2), who also notes: "They don't bother anyone, not even the koi.", (174) xakkan, (175) araceae, (176) duequattro (p: 2), (177) minipol, (178) Kataterfish, (179) wendy333 (p: 2), (180) bigamefish, (181) clydeboy, (182) MrGT500, (183) Catfish freak, who also notes: "O_o", (184) beetlebz, (185) monsterfishkeeper, (186) nevermore781, (187) Redfish, (188) kitty2234 (k: 3), (189) Cory-PlecoLover, who also notes: "Goliath is my female common pleco.", (190) donpetty (k: 2), who also notes: "These are very gentile towards other fish and corys.", (191) crusnik, who also notes: "Age round 16 to 20 years. Passed away November 2012", (192) a-401, (193) plecolee, (194) Gunna623, (195) Tropicalfish12, who also notes: "As juveniles they are shy but grow used to you with age. They love blached peas", (196) Watersprite, (197) slimrs, (198) Michael_Wanga, (199) luv4bigcats, (200) thefredpit, (201) auz_legend, (202) Mavy, (203) theguy40267, (204) m1ke715m, (205) guardianfyre, (206) Pcpolo111, (207) thereverendturtle, (208) elessar (k: 3), (209) msheresy, (210) daniela, (211) Ysori (p: 2, k: 2), (212) camtang (k: 2), (213) slayer5590, who also notes: "Added 2 small juvies 05/04/2014", (214) cardo (k: 2), (215) James.feenan, (216) Dudders, (217) cbowlincatfish, (218) HobbitCat, (219) Xandoz, (220) Quo, (221) Rummage, (222) crazy4bettas, (223) kimbo, (224) Stefan2013 (k: 2), (225) Divinehammer (k: 11), (226) jjmagnificent, (227) emacartoon, (228) plecokim, (229) Shanaitan, (230) KGlo, (231) mr bulldog, (232) funkyt, (233) Goodeid608, (234) chewy922, (235) d3n2, (236) FarNorth, who also notes: "Still growing", (237) ChristianKline (p: 2), (238) A 401, (239) Chicxulub, (240) sushi1980.

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Breeding Reports None.
Articles
Article - CotM 2008 April
Article - Shane's World Species The Pleco Egg Collectors of Florida
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Last Update 2013 Jul 19 15:21 (species record created: 2001 May 05 00:00)


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