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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pterygoplichthys lituratus  (Kner, 1854)
Common Name L196
Type Locality Rio Guapore near Mato Grosso, Amazon system, Brazil.
Synonym(s) Ancistrus lituratus, Glyptoperichthys lituratus
Pronunciation terry gop LICK thees
Etymology Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 370mm or 14.6" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Pterygoplichthys can be identified by the number of rays in the dorsal fin. Ten or more dorsal rays (usually 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).

Pterygoplichthys lituratus has a dark brown body with light tan reticulated lines.
P. lituratus bears a similar appearance with P. joselimaianus and P. parnaibae. The three are collected from different waterways, with P. lituratus originating in the Rio Madiera basin, states of Rondonia and Mato Grosso, P. joselimaianus originating in the Rio Tocantins basin in the state of Goias, and P. parnaibae originating in the Rio Parnaiba basin in the state of Maranhao. Also P. lituratus is the largest of the three species, based on recorded sizes.
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: Madeira River basin.
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Madeira (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Madeira, Mamoré, Guaporé (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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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 in captivity, in nature, the male fish occupies a tunnel in soft river bank in which the eggs are laid and guarded. The egg mass of bright orange eggs contains thousands of eggs.
Breeding Reports There is but a single breeding report, read it here.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe. v. 7, pp 285 [35], Pl. 5 (fig. 3).
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Last Update 2019 Sep 25 12:45 (species record created: 2007 Feb 23 21:13)