Pleco Identification

Did you know fantastic help is an anagram of Planet Catfish? This forum is for those of you with pictures of your catfish who are looking for help identifying them. There are many here to help and a firm ID is the first step towards keeping your catfish in the best conditions.
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Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Didn't purchase, but seen these guys at the store

1: labeled a common pleco, is a juvenile. Lovely coloring on this guy
20210929_142913.jpg
2: labeled cucuta pleco, but to me looks like standard BN plecos. None were on glass to see bellies though.
20210929_142847.jpg
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by bekateen »

The first is one of the common plecos in the genus Pterygoplichthys, maybe Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps. But most of these are farmed and some of them can be hybrids. The second is probably a common BN, unless the seller went to great trouble to import cucuta BNs.

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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

bekateen wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:39 am The first is one of the common plecos in the genus Pterygoplichthys, maybe Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps. But most of these are farmed and some of them can be hybrids. The second is probably a common BN, unless the seller went to great trouble to import cucuta BNs.

Cheers, Eric
They do import odd fish every now and again, but price is on par with common BN plecos as well, so hard to say. They're rather nice fish though, I do like the standard color, most often see albino here.

Ive not seen any juvie "commons" with colours like his in a long while, he stood out quite a bit. Shame he gets too large for me lol gibbiceps are very beautiful plecos.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by Shane »

Cucuta, which is a town on the Colombia/Venezuela border, seems like an oddly specific common name for a store to use. There are several brownish Ancistrus recorded from drainages in that area. I would take a hard look at those fish.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Shane wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:45 am Cucuta, which is a town on the Colombia/Venezuela border, seems like an oddly specific common name for a store to use. There are several brownish Ancistrus recorded from drainages in that area. I would take a hard look at those fish.
-Shane
I may go back for another look, but may purchase any because I can't guarantee a permanent tank if it needs warmer water since that area tends to run warmer than some other places. Already have plecos in 2 tanks, and the 3rd tank I could have a pleco in runs cold (goldfish and hoplos, temps 70-72F)
I could potentially juggle one of my cf cirrhosis to the colder tank, and keep that in there, but that'd be a task and a half netting anyone haha.

I'll try to get some close looks though at the very least.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Shane wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:45 am Cucuta, which is a town on the Colombia/Venezuela border, seems like an oddly specific common name for a store to use. There are several brownish Ancistrus recorded from drainages in that area. I would take a hard look at those fish.
-Shane
I went back, got some more photos including belly shots and side views. Handsome fish, I ended up taking one home anyways, worth the tank juggle if it needs warmer water.
20211004_163920.jpg
20211004_163905.jpg
20211004_163705.jpg
20211004_163625.jpg
What are your thoughts? Seem very broad headed compared to my cf cirrhosis at home. And all have bristles on the lip, some obvious males with extended onto the nose.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

20211004_172303.jpg
20211004_172241.jpg
Acclimation and size reference.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by bekateen »

Hi Miss Noodle,

Here are your last 6 pics, all laid out with same orientation and scaled to help viewing. Looking at the fish, and seeing the spotted pattern, this is certainly not Ancistrus sp`cucuta`. It is more reminiscent of Ancistrus martini, which has a spotted body and a wide head. That said, as Shane noted, the location is not a typical source for exported fish. I'm also looking at Ancistrus triradiatus, but the head of your fish looks wider.

I'm not sure it's worth anything, but the mouths visible on the two ventral pics are really different in shape. Perhaps just the animals' postures are different at time of photography? If real and not a photo aberration, then different sexes (e.g. head angle differs)? or different species altogether?

Cheers, Eric
Attachments
cucuta 1.png
cucuta 2.png
cucuta 3.png
cucuta 4.png
cucuta 5.png
cucuta 6.png
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

bekateen wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:42 pm Hi Miss Noodle,

Here are your last 6 pics, all laid out with same orientation and scaled to help viewing. Looking at the fish, and seeing the spotted pattern, this is certainly not Ancistrus sp`cucuta`. It is more reminiscent of Ancistrus martini, which has a spotted body and a wide head. That said, as Shane noted, the location is not a typical source for exported fish. I'm also looking at Ancistrus triradiatus, but the head of your fish looks wider.

I'm not sure it's worth anything, but the mouths visible on the two ventral pics are really different in shape. Perhaps just the animals' postures are different at time of photography? If real and not a photo aberration, then different sexes (e.g. head angle differs)? or different species altogether?

Cheers, Eric
Thank you!
Though I am also noting this fish lacks the spotted/reticulated? belly of martini, but on the one belly shot on the other one there shows no markings on the underside.
Does this factor into anything at all?

Currently acclimating into my warmer water 55g
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Add after your edit, fish in the underside photos in store are of different individuals. The wider mouthed one looked more female to me while the other certainly had more bristle coverage classic with a young male.

But one does have spots, the one I brought home does not. I will get a belly/mouth view of the fish I've got.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

20211004_175503.jpg
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by bekateen »

MissNoodle wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:54 pmAdd after your edit, fish in the underside photos in store are of different individuals. The wider mouthed one looked more female to me while the other certainly had more bristle coverage classic with a young male.

But one does have spots, the one I brought home does not. I will get a belly/mouth view of the fish I've got.
Yes I can see faint markings on the belly of one of the fish in your photos. I was going to say (from memory) that your fish appeared to have a pale underbelly, but actually it's quite dark in your photos. I don't think that excludes the species discussed.

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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Awesome then! Hopefully my L240 doesn't mind a neighbor in his tank. Going to assume it will fare best in 76F-80F range given if it is those species, they come from a warmer area, so probably a safe bet to keep her higher 70s than in a cooler tank then
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by Shane »

On the positive side you found something neat. On the negative, it is probably just one of the dozens (perhaps 100s) of undescribed brown Ancistrus spp in the Andes.
Galvis et al (Peces del Catatumbo) show a fish very similar to yours and label it A. triradiatus, which is incorrect as this sp is from Orinoco drainages in the llanos 470 miles to the south.
Schultz described two spp from the drainage (martini and bodenhameri). These were later placed in synonymy but this is not accepted in German hobbyists circles. I would tend to agree with them.
The pictures we have of martini are preserved specimens. Preservation often brings out pigmentation patterns we do not see in live fishes. This is especially true with fish like loricariids that can change their coloration and pattern based on environment.
I'll dig up Schultz today and see if we get lucky on a match, but it can be a fools game to try to match fish to a described sp when we know that only a tiny portion of the genus is formally described. This is the biggest mistake made by hobbyists and scientists (note Galvis et al ref above).
As far as temps, Cucuta is considered cold by Venezuelans and Colombians. People from Cucuta are called "gochos" (swine) because they tend to have lighter skin and the cool weather causes their cheeks to turn pink. This is a great amusement to people that have never been some place cold enough to experience rosy cheeks on a brisk morning.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Shane wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:10 am On the positive side you found something neat. On the negative, it is probably just one of the dozens (perhaps 100s) of undescribed brown Ancistrus spp in the Andes.
Galvis et al (Peces del Catatumbo) show a fish very similar to yours and label it A. triradiatus, which is incorrect as this sp is from Orinoco drainages in the llanos 470 miles to the south.
Schultz described two spp from the drainage (martini and bodenhameri). These were later placed in synonymy but this is not accepted in German hobbyists circles. I would tend to agree with them.
The pictures we have of martini are preserved specimens. Preservation often brings out pigmentation patterns we do not see in live fishes. This is especially true with fish like loricariids that can change their coloration and pattern based on environment.
I'll dig up Schultz today and see if we get lucky on a match, but it can be a fools game to try to match fish to a described sp when we know that only a tiny portion of the genus is formally described. This is the biggest mistake made by hobbyists and scientists (note Galvis et al ref above).
As far as temps, Cucuta is considered cold by Venezuelans and Colombians. People from Cucuta are called "gochos" (swine) because they tend to have lighter skin and the cool weather causes their cheeks to turn pink. This is a great amusement to people that have never been some place cold enough to experience rosy cheeks on a brisk morning.
-Shane
Oh awesome! Would be interested to see.


She is showing some nice brown tones now that she's settled into her new home. Very prominent cheek spikes too, wouldn't wanna get jabbed by those lol.
20211004_185027.jpg
20211004_192200.jpg
20211005_083920.jpg
20211005_084119.jpg
20211005_084236.jpg
I keep the tank no colder than 76F but no hotter than 80F

If this proves to be too warm, I can move her to a tank that sits 72F-75F

Assumed it'd be warmer since the profile for L240 runs hot on the temps and it's on the Venezuela/Columbia border area as well. Goes to show south american climate is more complex than one initially thinks.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by Shane »

Original description A. bodenhameri. Compare to your fish as she settles in.
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20211005_103454.jpg
20211005_103502.jpg
Last edited by Shane on Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by Shane »

Photo from Galvis.
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Shane wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:39 pm Original description A. bodenhameri. Compare to your fish as she settles in.
-Shane
So given that it's been merged with a. Martini, can assume that beckateen has it correct then?

The description is pretty spot on. Dorsal does have a pale tip restricted to the first 2 rays, causal does as well. Dull spotting as well, not bold as seen in the common cf cirrhosis.

Ive been calling this one a she, pretty wide body so assuming female despite the bristles--nearly all the fish in the store had bristles to some extent, some same size as this had more bristles up the face with branching starting--assumed those male, while this one and others very little and restricted to just the lip assumed female until proven otherwise.
But going off my cirrhosis at this size, males would have had more bristles at the size this fish is at.

My area has a terrible market for the common bristlenose (oversaturated, everyone trying to sell babies lol), and I doubt these guys would stand out to many here as something worth buying over the other BN plecos. Unsure if it would be worth going back for a male, the price was really good. But, if I did end up going with a pair, the market is not too good. Aside from other catfish and pleco fans, they may not sell as well should they do breed. I adore plecos and catfish, but also do not wish to be overrun either since some plecos can breed like rabbits, though not a guarantee for this species

At same time, chances of them being in stock again are so so slim.


Gah, decisions decisions.

A pair may irritate my L240 juvenile and may cause a fight over caves so might be poking the sleeping bear on that one and best leave it alone 😄
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by Shane »

. So given that it's been merged with a. Martini, can assume that beckateen has it correct then?
I do not agree that A. bodenhameri is synonym of A. martini. I went back and read the Trans Andean paper again and am even more convinced after reviewing their reasoning.

Your second point (the market is saturated) was what made me make my good news\bad news comment above. They are only interesting to people that have a thing for brown Ancistrus. We have a local club member spawning a brown sp he collected in Peru. They don't sell well in the auctions while long finned albino common Ancistrus sell like hot cakes. Sigh....
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Re: Pleco Identification

Post by MissNoodle »

Shane wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:54 pm
. So given that it's been merged with a. Martini, can assume that beckateen has it correct then?
I do not agree that A. bodenhameri is synonym of A. martini. I went back and read the Trans Andean paper again and am even more convinced after reviewing their reasoning.

Your second point (the market is saturated) was what made me make my good news\bad news comment above. They are only interesting to people that have a thing for brown Ancistrus. We have a local club member spawning a brown sp he collected in Peru. They don't sell well in the auctions while long finned albino common Ancistrus sell like hot cakes. Sigh....
-Shane
Well yes, agreed. It's like schultzei vs aeneus in cories. Currently classed the same species but are clearly different. Usually there's a reason they were classed differently at first. And inevitably get separated again at some point.

What I mean is just for sake of marking down it in my keepers list.

I think I'm going for a male anyways too, given the scarcity I feel I will regret it too much if I passed this opportunity up. Plus no guarantee that they'd spawn anyways, and I think I could work out solutions if they did. At least in terms of keeping peace.

That said, I do like the brown plain ones too, but here in my area even the fancy cirrhosis colours don't sell well. There's several sellers all for cheaper than the stores and can take months to sell lol

But I also asked around some locals and there is considerable interest in these ones at the very least. There's a couple pleco fans here who aren't just into "flashy" fish
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