Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

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bekateen
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Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Hi All,

Asking for friends, who just received a shipment of Hypancistrus collected near the Patacame community on the Orinoco.

Most of the fish have no markings other than a bluish-tinted charcoal body with light saddles and marks on the face. My first impression was something like a zombie pleco, but the fish don't exactly match and the catch location is way off.

One fish (last picture) is slightly spotted and reminds me of Hypancistrus lunaorum.

Based on location, if these were all more spotted (or if lunaorum can be unspotted), then H. lunaorum might be right for all, but otherwise I've got no clue. Color-wise, if these didn't have a Hypancistrus shape, I'd say their colors are reminiscent of Hypancistrus vandragti, some which are well spotted and some almost not at all.

I also considered Baryancistrus beggini, but I don't think the head is right, and thinking of my group, I've never seen such pronounced saddles (and is the dorsal fin even acceptable?). That said, the tail is not what I'm used to for Hypans, so I thought of what other genera are in the area?

Thanks for your help,
Eric
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158516439_1323769247996259_1183121130047718304_n.jpg
157255488_427357665160531_3437848191082886794_n.jpg
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

More pictures of unspotted and spotted fish. First, two pics of one of the unspotted fish (most of the fish imported in this group are unspotted):
158122928_422665118827883_2327112829934854168_n.jpg
159209681_441616687104013_5490951359793682457_n.jpg
Next 3 pics of the lone spotted fish:
157344181_119455633408119_5602737737309430774_n (1).jpg
158688570_503256524404200_1005716291555099314_n.jpg
157344186_913984042707774_1614791839203411448_n.jpg
Cheers, Eric
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by racoll »

You can find somewhat zombies in the lower Rio Negro (some somewhat spotty), so it would not surprise me that there's a similar fish in the Orinoco system. But that area is pretty well explored ... where exactly is Patacame?
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Thanks racoll. As to location, I'm not sure, but if you believe Google Maps, the answer is here: 3.990068, -67.269688.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

For lack of an existing entry in the CLOGs or any photos of zombie-like hypans in the Orinoco region (which may include the Negro fish, but IDK), and to discourage people from buying these assuming that they are the same as the Rio Tapajos L070 zombies and mixing them into breeding groups, I've created a CLOG entry for these fish: Hypancistrus sp`patacame`.

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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Before I forget, here are a few of observations I have (which may be irrelevant).
  1. Both the Negro and the Orinoco have zombie-like plecos
  2. In both groups, lightly spotted individuals seem to occur.
  3. This Orinoco fish is not too distant from Hypancistrus lunaorum, a distinctly spotted fish (which in stress coloration looks a little like the Orinoco fish here), and in the Negro, there is the poorly known L158 (for which the only photo I find is in the original DATZ magazine), which looks somewhat like H. lunaorum.
There are plenty of other black Hypancistrus with pale spots in the region but is there anything to be made if this? Or are L158 and H. lunaorum so far away from the two regional zombies that they aren't relevant?

Probably not, but this is how my mind works. (Until I know better)

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by racoll »

This is strange, as that place is quite a well explored area in terms of these fishes. The descriptions of debilittera, contradens, lunaorum, furunculus all were made from material specifically collected in the area, so seems strange that something different like this would not be uncovered.

My guess is that these are either: (i) odd/different looking lunaorums that got picked out deliberately by exporters and sold for a premium; or (ii) something different collected elsewhere.

The description of lunaorum states that they are highly variable in terms of numbers of spots, so it's quite conceivable that some lack spots entirely.
They also lack the dark distal border to the dorsal fin that you see in rio Tapajos and rio Negro zombies.
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

racoll wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:30 pm This is strange, as that place is quite a well explored area in terms of these fishes. The descriptions of debilittera, contradens, lunaorum, furunculus all were made from material specifically collected in the area, so seems strange that something different like this would not be uncovered.

My guess is that these are either: (i) odd/different looking lunaorums that got picked out deliberately by exporters and sold for a premium; or (ii) something different collected elsewhere.

The description of lunaorum states that they are highly variable in terms of numbers of spots, so it's quite conceivable that some lack spots entirely.
They also lack the dark distal border to the dorsal fin that you see in rio Tapajos and rio Negro zombies.
The possibility that these are unspotted H. lunaorum has gone through my mind because as I mentioned above, the colors remind me of H. vandragti: Body varies from black to charcoal with a hint of blue, and spots are highly variable from many to almost none among the specimens I've seen; maybe some are totally unspotted, but I haven't seen that first-hand. So if that is a successful phenotype in one species in the region, there's no reason to think it wouldn't also work for another in the same habitat.

@racoll, do you expect your Negro fish are the same? Or slightly different (you mentioned the presence/absence of the black seam on dorsal fin of Negro fish)? I suppose if the Orinoco fish are lunaorum, then yours are different. And do you know anything about L158?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by racoll »

@racoll, do you expect your Negro fish are the same? Or slightly different (you mentioned the presence/absence of the black seam on dorsal fin of Negro fish)? I suppose if the Orinoco fish are lunaorum, then yours are different. And do you know anything about L158?
I'm leaning towards your fish being lunaorum, and not the same as the rio Tapajos or rio Negro zombies, but getting some photos when they are settled in and grown up a lot will help.

Interestingly, H. inspector also has that black seam, and perhaps it and the zombie are closely related?

I'd say L158 is probably Hypancistrus margaritatus.
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Thanks.

I agree on the fish needing to settle more. I'm told these specimens came in a couple of weeks ago, but even so they are in sales tanks and need to get into a more comfortable setting to get the best photos.

H. margaritas seems reasonable for L158. I'll leave that for smarter people to finalize before making a change to that CLOG page.

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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by Acanthicus »

Hi,

this is H. lunaorum. From time to time specimens with this phenotype show up in the trade. I got some back in 2015 by Aqua-Amzon (Vianen, NL), shortly afterwards a pair was sold to a friend in Austria by another shop. The offspring have slightly less spots than the ones of typical lunaorum, but are still easy to identify as such. On the other side, greyish specimens also turn up among offspring of normally patterned lunaorum.
Daniel
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Acanthicus wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:39 pm Hi,

this is H. lunaorum. From time to time specimens with this phenotype show up in the trade. I got some back in 2015 by Aqua-Amzon (Vianen, NL), shortly afterwards a pair was sold to a friend in Austria by another shop. The offspring have slightly less spots than the ones of typical lunaorum, but are still easy to identify as such. On the other side, greyish specimens also turn up among offspring of normally patterned lunaorum.
Thanks, Daniel.

So the grayish individuals give birth to spotted offspring, and vice-versa?

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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by Acanthicus »

Yes, not only of course, but greyish parents have spotted offspring too, and the other way around.

Initially I thought my pair would be really, really old and had lost the colours, but when some more showed up I realized it was intraspecific variation.
Daniel
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by bekateen »

Excellent, thanks. I've moved the best photos of unspotted specimens to the Hypancistrus lunaorum CLOG page, and stripped the Patacame CLOG page of specific detail. As new pics for other species become available, I'll strip the last Patacame pics off that page and eventually recycle this CLOG page when some other species needs a page.

For now, this matter appears to be settled, unless new info arises. Thanks racoll and Acanthicus.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Can you ID this Hypancistrus from the Orinoco region?

Post by FlintStone »

Wow this is a very unusual fish!
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