Cat-eLog Right Arrow Loricariidae Right Arrow Hypostominae Right Arrow Parancistrus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Parancistrus aurantiacus  (Castelnau, 1855)
Common Names Chubby Pleco
Goldflossen-Harnischwels (Germany), Rubber Pleco
Type Locality Río Ucayali, Peru.
Synonym(s) Hypostomus aurantiacus, Hypostomus nigricans, Hypostomus vicinus, Parancistrus nigricans, Parancistrus vicinus
Pronunciation parr an SIS truss - awe ran tee ak uss
Etymology (Greek)Para=The side of + (Greek)agkistron=hook. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 220mm or 8.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Parancistrus is distinguished by having a membranous connection between the dorsal and adipose fins, a large gill opening, and its cephalic and body scutes are not keeled. Additionally, nuptial males have fleshy folds along the dorsal-fin base. Other genera with a membrane connecting the dorsal and adipose fins include Baryancistrus, Oligancistrus, and Spectracanthicus. Parancistrus differs from these genera by the large gill openings.

Capable of changing from a dull grey brown colouration into striking golden form. This change appears to be under the fishes control and they can be found in any state of patchwork colouration in between all gold or all grey. This is not a one way process, grey individuals have been recorded returning to gold once acclimatized by this is not the norm.
Sexing Breeding males have elongated odontodes on the pectoral fin spines.
General Remarks Fascinating to note that the fish must have been described as a golden fish given the specific name. In her review of the genus, Rapp Py-Daniel (1989) stated that the only time P. aurantiacus was collected was when the river had dried to isolated pools. She suggested that the large gill openings may be an adaptation to low oxygen levels. Rhinelepis similarly has large gill openings but also has a diverticulum hypothesized to act as an accessory respiratory system (Armbruster, 1998). Armbruster has also noted that it is possible the expanded gill openings are not associated with respiration and may be due to some other factor such as feeding.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Brazil: Para State: Rio Tocantins (Cameta - Maraba), also found in Ucayali and Xingu rivers.
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tocantins (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Upper Amazon, Marañón, Ucayali (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Xingu (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
Temperature 22.0-27.0°C or 71.6-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding An omnivore that eats most vegetarian foods, tablets and pellets, frozen meaty foods like bloodworm or brineshrimp and will lightly chew on soft wood.
Compatibility Relatively peaceful as medium sized plecos go.
Breeding Breeding has been record (2013 in the UK) from adult fish who spawned within a few months of import.
Breeding Reports There are 3 breeding reports, read them all here.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Animaux nouveaux or rares v. 2, pp 43, Pl. 21 (fig. 2).
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Last Update 2019 Sep 14 03:44 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)