Cat-eLog Right Loricariidae Right Hypostominae Right Pseudacanthicus  |  | 

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Scientific Name Pseudacanthicus leopardus  (Fowler, 1914)
Common Names LDA073, Leopard Cactus Pleco
"l600", Leopard Kaktussugemalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Rupununi River, Guyana, 2°-3°N, 50°20'W.
Type Locality Notes In the original description of this species, Fowler (1914) wrote that the fish were from “...the Rupununi River, in the highlands of British Guiana. ...approximately secured in North Latitude 2° to 3°, and West Longitude 50° 20'.” Although the latitude data is imprecise, the longitude data must also be inaccurate, because the Rio Rupununi is located at approximately 59°W Longitude, not 50°W Longitude as Fowler reported. So as not to unilaterally revise Fowler’s original record, the type locality data is being preserved, and displayed as “2.5°N, 50°20'W”, averaging the two latitude values reported by Fowler and not correcting the longitude value.
Synonym(s) Stoneiella leopardus
Pronunciation SUE dah KAN thi cuss
Etymology Pseud- Greek: False, Acanthicus - Greek: Spiny, Thorny. Literally "False Acanthicus" referring to this genus being similar to, yet different from, Acanthicus
Article Link - CotM Right 2021 Right April
Down Species Information
Size 150mm or 5.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification The German common name for this genus is ''Cactus Pleco''. A good name! Pseudacanthicus is a member of the Acanthicus clade. Species of the Acanthicus clade are distinguished from other Loricariidae species by the presence of (1) longitudinal rows of keels (pointed odontodes) along the body sides; (2) eight or more dorsal-fin rays (vs. six or seven in most other loricariids except Pterygoplichthys, Chaetostoma, Pogonopoma and Pseudancistrus pectegenitor); (3) seven to eight infraorbitals (vs. usually five or six); (4) five anal-fin branched rays (vs. usually four); and (5) presence of hypertrophied odontodes along the snout margin (vs. hypertrophied odontodes absent in other loricariids except Isbrueckerichthys and Pareiorhaphis, in Neoplecostominae; Panaque and Pseudancistrus and Neblinichthys, in Ancistrini; and most dimorphic males of Loricariinae). Within the Acanthicus group, Pseudacanthicus is distinguished by the presence of two small plates in the posterior area of the compound pterotic (vs. one median plate or plate absent), and by the presence of narrow premaxillae with a small number of elongate and curved teeth (except from Leporacanthicus).

As juveniles, these fish exhibit vibrant yellow/orange coloured unpaired fins. With increasing age the spotting of the body 'leaks' more and more onto the previously orange coloured fins.
Sexing Mature males have considerably more odontodal growth on most fins rays but the pectorals are most adorned. Females fill out quite considerably in relation to the slender males.
General Remarks Often referred to as L600 but not recognised officially as such by DATZ etc. It actually appeared in the December 1996 DATZ alongside L114. Wels Atlas II also equates this to L114. So while L600 is not an official l-number (never being written as such in DATZ) it was simply introduced by an unknown source and the name stuck. This didn't seem to worry anyone when we were at L300 or so, but now, as we are well past L500, it begins to be something to think about. In short, it is a trade name, not an official L-number.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Rupununi River basin in Guyana.
Guyana Waters, Coastal Rivers of Guyanas, Essequibo, Rupununi (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro, Lower Negro, Branco (Roraima) (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2020.
Temperature 25.0-29.0°C or 77-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Carnivore although not a predator, prawns and chopped mussel appear favourites and promote favourable growth. Some vegetable should also be provided and thus balances diet. User data.
Furniture Proportionally sized pieces of bogwood (the fish does not appear to particularly like rockwork) are a good idea as are equally dimensioned pipes. Plants are just a nuisance to this fish and while not orally molested, they tend to be battered by the fishes movement.
Compatibility Generally peaceful but territorial from a young age. Some large specimens are aggressively territorial and may cause problems if housed with other large nocturnal fish.
Suggested Tankmates The temptation with large tough Loricariids is to keep them with large, tough other fish such as Oscars or other brutish characters. This actually works quite well with most omnivorous or mainly vegetarian plecos. Pseudacanthicus however are big messy carnivores, but, like all large plecos, produce vast amounts of waste and as such would require monumental filtration to house alongside non-catfish ''equals''. It is better to think of these catfish as the centrepiece fish and stock their aquarium with medium sized (preferably omnivorous) fish. All sizes of barbs work surprisingly well.
Breeding Has been spawned in captivity and is a cave spawner. The very close relative, P. cf. leopardus, has been spawned in captivity and an article can be found in Shane's World.
Breeding Reports There are 4 breeding reports, read them all here.
Down Further Information
Reference Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia v. 66, pp 271, Fig. 17.
Registered Keepers There are 115 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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Last Update 2022 Feb 03 23:50 (species record created: 2002 Mar 05 00:00)