Cat-eLog Right Loricariidae Right Hypostominae Right Pseudacanthicus

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pseudacanthicus spinosus  (Castelnau, 1855)
Common Names L096, Spiny Monster Pleco
L160, Coffee And Cream Cactus Pleco, Cremefarvet Kaktussugemalle (Denmark), Gelschwanz Spiny Monster (Germany), Spotted Cactus Pleco
Type Locality Amazon River, Brazil.
Synonym(s) Hypostomus spinosus castelnau
Pronunciation SUE dah KAN thi cuss - spin oh suss
Etymology Pseud- Greek: False, Acanthicus - Greek: Spiny, Thorny. Literally "False Acanthicus" referring to this genus being similar to, yet different from, Acanthicus. This specific epithet refers to its spiny (spinosus=spiny, thorny) appearance.
Article Link - Shane's World Right Reproduction Right Breeding Pseudacanthicus spinosus
Article Link - CotM Right 2014 Right January
Down Species Information
Size 260mm or 10.2" 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).

The distinctive light grey colouration can vary to a darker brown especially with age. This fish appears to have a wide distribution and thus colouration and patterning can be expected to vary somewhat.
Sexing Unknown
Down Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Amazon Basin. Reports also exist from the Orinoco Basin, Venezuela.
L096: Pará, Rio do Pará, (Portel)
L160: Pará, Rio Tocantins (Cametá-Marabá), Rio Guamá (Ourém)
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tocantins, Lower Tocantins, Pará (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tocantins (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 5.8 - 7.8
Temperature 25.0-28.0°C or 77-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Can take cooler water for periods of time. Water current doesn't need to be too strong.
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.
Furniture A large stone or preferably wooden hiding place is required, plants are not.
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 other large tough fish such as Oscars or other brutish characters. This actually works quite well with most omnivorous or mainly vegetarian plecos. Pseudacanthicus despite their defensive protection can be bullied by faster moving fish of similar size. They are carnivores and only eat vegetables when their preferred food is unavailable. The amount of waste produced depends on their diet but is considerably less than a Panaque or Pterygoplichthys of similar size.
Breeding See Shane's World and CotM articles.
Breeding Reports There are 4 breeding reports, read them all here.
Down Further Information
Reference Animaux nouveaux or rares v. 2, pp 45, Pl. 22 (fig. 3).
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Last Update 2022 Jan 14 12:18 (species record created: 2001 May 05 00:00)