Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

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Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Cheep-Cheep » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:03 am

Hello everyone,
Can anyone give me a clue as to the ID of this loracarid? I caught it last week, in a rather remote location, where there are no known pleco species. So, I'm wondering, did I happen upon a new species, a new location of a known species, or an invasive species? (For now, I'd like to keep the location to myself, so I can get some unbiased first impressions)
Thanks!
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Dave Rinaldo » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:32 am

If you caught it in Missouri, it's invasive.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by cdarminio » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:06 pm

If you caught it anywhere in the US, it's invasive. Loricariids originate from freshwater habitats of Costa Rica, Panama, and tropical and subtropical South America.

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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by nvcichlids » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:04 pm

Yeah, the OP should have at least listed the country of origin.. I dont think anyone will know the location if you said "peru" or "Brazil" or " My backyard"
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Cheep-Cheep » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:38 pm

Dave Rinaldo wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:32 am
If you caught it in Missouri, it's invasive.
Please, I'm not an idiot. Obviously there are no plecos native here. I was traveling in a Latin American country, and the area where I found this has no loracarids recorded from the area.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Cheep-Cheep » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:41 pm

cdarminio wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:06 pm
If you caught it anywhere in the US, it's invasive. Loricariids originate from freshwater habitats of Costa Rica, Panama, and tropical and subtropical South America.
Yes, I know where loracarids are found - I wouldn't be asking here if I caught it in the US (see the previous reply).
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by bekateen » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:41 pm

Cheep-Cheep wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:38 pm
Please, I'm not an idiot. Obviously there are no plecos native here.
Cheep-Cheep wrote:Yes, I know where loracarids are found - I wouldn't be asking here if I caught it in the US (see the previous reply).
I didn't see anyone call you an idiot. There are plenty of loricariids and other tropical fishes that have been released around the world in places they don't belong (including in the USA), so just because loricariids aren't native to the USA doesn't mean people won't find them here.
Cheep-Cheep wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:03 am
Hello everyone,
Can anyone give me a clue as to the ID of this loracarid? I caught it last week, in a rather remote location, where there are no known pleco species. So, I'm wondering, did I happen upon a new species, a new location of a known species, or an invasive species? (For now, I'd like to keep the location to myself, so I can get some unbiased first impressions)
Since you didn't list a capture location, at least a country or region of origin, how would anybody know if the fish you have is invasive? Invasive to where? Since loricariids have been released in the USA, since you are from the USA,, and since you asked "is this an invasive species?," it is not unreasonable for us to wonder whether you found them in the USA.
Cheep-Cheep wrote:(For now, I'd like to keep the location to myself, so I can get some unbiased first impressions)
Your original comment about keeping the location "to yourself" is so cryptically vague that it can easily raise questions about what your motives are for asking. At the very least, it suggests there could be a problem if loricariids are in this area.
Cheep-Cheep wrote:I was traveling in a Latin American country, and the area where I found this has no loracarids recorded from the area.
Okay, now we can get somewhere. To confirm that there are no records of loricariids from the area you visited, I suggest you try the website gbif.org. The link below is already configured to look for loricariid records with known geolocation data. Click on the link below, then use the ADD A FILTER button to add a country or location to your search. The map will show if any loricariids have ever been reported there.

http://www.gbif.org/occurrence/search?q ... isplay=map

Good luck, Eric
Last edited by bekateen on Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Cheep-Cheep » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:59 pm

Eric,

Yes, they didn't use the word "idiot", but the fact that they felt the need to inform me that there are no plecos native to Missouri indicates they think I must be very ignorant. Plus, I'm getting a bit frustrated, because so far, no one has actually offered what I originally asked for - some guesses about the ID of the fish.
I know location is a valuable tool for ID-ing a species, but it's far from the only relevant information. My ichthyology professor taught me back in college that, when trying to ID a species, one should make your tentative ID's first, THEN check to see where your possible ID's are native. Doing the reverse can potentially cloud your judgement, in case you've encountered a species outside its known range.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by bekateen » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:05 pm

I'm not great at ID'ing loricariids of this type, but for what it's worth, I suspect it's in the genus Hypostomus.

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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Cheep-Cheep » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:14 pm

bekateen wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:05 pm
I'm not great at ID'ing loricariids of this type, but for what it's worth, I suspect it's in the genus Hypostomus.
OK, thank you for ID - I do appreciate it.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by bekateen » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:15 pm

Cheep-Cheep wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:59 pm
I know location is a valuable tool for ID-ing a species, but it's far from the only relevant information. My ichthyology professor taught me back in college that, when trying to ID a species, one should make your tentative ID's first, THEN check to see where your possible ID's are native. Doing the reverse can potentially cloud your judgement, in case you've encountered a species outside its known range.
I fully agree, and yet I think you are ignoring something significant which limits you in your quest for an answer/identity: You didn't give us much "relevant information." The reason I recommended the tool is this: You tell us that no loricariids are found in this location, but you don't tell us the location and you don't tell us how you know that no loricariids live there. So what relevant information do we have to go on? Just one photo (a good photo indeed, but still just one).

I expect that simply telling you a possible genus (as I just did) is not sufficient, since people on Facebook have already offered that much. But I'm sure you understand that the reason we are limited in our ability to help is that all we have to work with is one photo, and as a result there may be several very similar species that cannot be disambiguated without either (1) additional anatomical information (e.g., more photos) or (2) catch location.

Again, I don't know this genus well enough to be more helpful, but I do think you may need to consider using the GBIF or other tool to help narrow the possibilities.

Cheers, Eric
Last edited by bekateen on Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by nvcichlids » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:28 pm

Not to mention the genus this fish falls into has a TON of brown plecos in it. I'm by no means trying to be disrespectful, but I am more willing to help if someone is willing to help back. We requested a little more information to try to narrow it down and then we can start giving ideas. If you can't help us, its hard for us to help you without shooting complete random id's out there.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Acanthicus » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:42 pm

Hi

every single species ID given can only be a guessing game. I had two species in mind when I saw the pic on fb already, but both could be wrong and at least one is for sure. Hypostomus sensu stricto and sensu lato are so diverse that a picture, showing the fish in stress colouration simply isn't enough. Even in normal colouration and with pics from all angles the location is absolutely important in many species of the mentioned group.

"Not reported" is also a difficult term. Who reports and why and when? I havent reported all my findings in Bolivia yet, still I know which species occurs where. I wont report all my findings in Bolivia cause its a mass of data that is not important until a specific date, the description date for example. Not because I want to hide them, if somebody asks for them I am hpoyappy to help, but because of a low relevance to most people. Fishermen dont report all their locations either, they dont care much. I also doubt there is a database that includes all reported locations for a species. Not even the different localities of H. zebra are listed somewhere if I am not totally wrong now, and if not even this has been done, imagine how many locations of brown catfishes are known but not written down somewhere.
Last edited by Acanthicus on Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by Shane » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:27 am

The fish appears to be of the Hypostomus plecostomus group (sensu lato) and most likely from Colombia, Venezuela, or Trinidad. That said, and as stated above, there are just too many similar spp out there to make even an educated guess.
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Re: Is this mystery pleco supposed to be here?

Post by pleco_breeder » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:17 pm

I suspect that this has already been taken into account, but if this is anything of importance for a scientific or commercial interest you're going to likely need to revise against a currently accepted identification key in order to gain any sort of acceptance. While there are a lot of knowledgeable people in the hobby, there are a lot of things which cannot be taken into consideration from a photo. Therefore, hobbyist identification without doing the proper hands-on research (especially for families or genera with a large number of representative species) is going to be all but useless for labeling native, invasive, or an extension of the natural range for any species.

Having said all of that, my personal opinion would match what Shane has already stated.
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