Cat-eLog Right Loricariidae Right Hypostominae Right Parancistrus  |  | 

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Parancistrus aurantiacus  (Castelnau, 1855)
Common Names Chubby Pleco
Farveskiftende Sugemalle (Denmark), 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. 
Down Species Information
Size 193mm or 7.6" 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.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Ucayali, Tocantins 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)

Log in to view data on a map.
IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
Temperature 22.0-27.0°C or 71.6-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Down 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. User data.
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.
Down Further Information
Reference Animaux nouveaux or rares v. 2, pp 43, Pl. 21 (fig. 2).
Registered Keepers There are 47 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
Wishlists Love this species? Click the heart to add it to your wish list.
There are 13 wishes to keep this species, see who wants what.
Spotters Spotted this species somewhere? Click the binoculars!
There are 23 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
Forum BBCode
Search for P. aurantiacus
Look up Look up P. aurantiacus on
Look up on Fishbase Look up P. aurantiacus on Fishbase
Look up on Encyclopedia of Life Look up P. aurantiacus on Encyclopedia of Life
Look up on Global Biodiversity Information Facility Look up P. aurantiacus on Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Parancistrus aurantiacus QR code LFS label creator
ARN ref:
Last Update 2021 May 11 05:29 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)