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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus  (Hancock, 1828)
Common Names Orinoco Sailfin Catfish
Sejlfinnet Sugemalle (Denmark), Vielgepunkteter Schilderwels (Germany)
Type Locality [Probably near Santa Catalina, Orinoco system], Demerara, Guyana.
Pronunciation terry gop LICK thees
Etymology Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish. Multiradiatus in reference to the number of rays in the dorsal rays (it was originally described as a species in Hypostomus, which normally has 8 rays in the dorsal fin).
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 500mm or 19.7" 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).
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 South America: Widespread from Orinoco River basin to Argentina.
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 6.5 - 7.8
Temperature 23.0-27.0°C or 73.4-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivorous and a good algae eater, especially when young.
Suggested Tankmates Almost any medium sized community fish.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Zoological Journal, London v. 4
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Last Update 2009 Dec 21 12:56 (species record created: 2002 Sep 25 00:00)