L244 Sexing: Now with a spawn and fry

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L244 Sexing: Now with a spawn and fry

Post by Mol_PMB »

For a couple of years now I've had two Pseudolithoxus dumus in a community tank. My belief is that they are both males.

As part of a rearrangement of my tanks and fish, I took them out of that tank today and placed them in a tank of their own, where I have previously bred a couple of other small Loricariidae species. During the move, I took some closeup photos of the two fish from above.

Are they both males?
Cheers,
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Attachments
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fish 2
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fish 2
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fish  1
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] fish 1
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] both fish
[clog]Pseudolithoxus dumus[/clog] both fish
Last edited by Mol_PMB on Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Beautiful fish! ;-)

I don't know how hairy females get, but your two fish look different to me.

The top photo shows a fish with a more pointed snout and what look like smaller odontodes relative to the fish in the second photo, which is hairier and has a round snout.

All that would lead me to think the top is female and the bottom male.

However, the fish in the upper photo is narrow through the midbody, but the bottom photo shows a fish that has a wider midsection.

Are these two fish the same size/length?

About the pelvic fins, I'm having difficulty telling whether they differ. It may be my eyes playing tricks on me, but the fish in the upper photo may have shorter pelvics (female).

Can you get photos from a ventral view?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks Eric :)
I agree with you, there are distinct differences in head shape and the odontodes, and also in body shape, but they seem contradictory. I hadn't noticed the extent of some of these differences until I posted up these photos, so it's good that you have noticed the same features.

Both fish are of similar size, about 90-100mm SL.

Within a couple of hours of going into their own tank, I spotted them cosied up to each other as in the third photo. They stayed like that for several minutes but have since gone off exploring some more.

Now that they're in a tank of their own, it should be easier for me to get them out for more photos. I'll see if I can set up something to enable me to get good ventral photos. I might leave it a day or two as they've been stressed out by the moves today.

I presently have the opportunity to buy a third fish (pricey, smaller, and not very local, but they're rarely seen for sale here).

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Jobro »

Odonthodes are not telling much on some species.

I would guess they are related to Dekeyseria/Zonancistrus. Did not see any pseudolithoxus in real before though, but all the pictures look quite similiar. I would try to look at the dorsal fins. long = male, short = female.

I see chances you have a female. Bodyshape is a little intriguing here, but some females will only get rounder once they want to breed. Feed them up with artemia/brineshrimp, black mosquito larvae, shrimp etc.

Stunning fish! :)
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Many thanks! Perhaps I was placing too much importance on odontodes and body shape originally. There are certainly differences in shape between the two.

I know behaviour can be misleading, but they have always seemed very tolerant of each other and comfortable close together - I've never seen them fight. To me that also suggests that two males is a bit less likely.

I'll try and get some more photos this week. They're really beautiful fish and I'd love to breed them - it has been done a couple of times.

Cheers,
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Without a doubt, yes.

And I don't know if it is sexually distinctive, but the male in that link has a very round snout/head, like the fish in your second photo. Not like the fish in your first photo.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Yesterday I put both fish in a 10L tank for photography. This was a bit of a rough setup so apologies for the reflections and image quality in some cases.
However, I think the images do show something useful.
Firstly, three photos showing both fish together.
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My two L244s together
My two L244s together
My two L244s together
My two L244s together
My two L244s together
My two L244s together
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Next, some photos of the lighter-coloured, slightly smaller fish. With a more pointed head, shorter pectorals and smaller/fewer odontodes, I think this is likely to be a female.
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L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
L244 female?
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Finally, a couple of views of the slightly larger, darker coloured fish. With a semicircular head, impressive odontodes and long pectorals, I'm pretty sure this is a male.

Do you think I'm right?

I've decided to purchase a third, smaller fish which is currently available, as I see this species so rarely in the shops. I suspect it's also a male but based on experience with these two over the past few years, it might be too young to tell.
After QT I'll put it in my pleco breeding tank with the others and wait and see what happens...

Many thanks,
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L244 male?
L244 male?
L244 male?
L244 male?
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Jobro »

Nice Pictures. Well, we can tell you got one male :D the other one could very well be a female if you ask me.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Acanthicus »

Hi,

the original two are a pair. Odontodes don't tell that much in this genus, but the length of pectoral and ventral fins are quite distinct, also the bodyshape when well fed, but since its always a little difficult to tell what "well fed" looks like, I'd go for morphological characteristics that are firm.

The new one is a male I'd say.

cheers, Daniel
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Many thanks :)
I'll take some more photos of the new one in a week or two once it has settled in - it's only half the size of the others.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by bekateen »

Acanthicus wrote: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:09 pmThe new one is a male I'd say.
Hi Daniel,

If I understand Paul's comments, these last photos are of his original male, not the new fish.

Otherwise, I agree that the two current fish are probably a pair, especially when comparing lengths of pectoral and pelvic fins.

My only puzzlement is this: Paul has had these two fish a while, and Paul is an experienced fish keeper who takes good care of his fish. These fish are not small juveniles. With all that background, I'm surprised the female is not fuller in body girth. Shouldn't she look fatter by now, if "she" is really a she?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks Eric, you're right that I haven't yet posted photos of the new fish. It's in QT at the moment after a long journey on Saturday; when I move it to join the others in a few weeks I'll take some decent photos.

The existing two fish have been in a busy community tank for a couple of years. While they're the only plecs in there, they would have been competing for food with a big herd of Corydoras and a couple of Brachyrhamdia.
Although I tried to target feed the L244s they may not have been getting as much food as I would have liked.
Now they're in their own tank that's not a problem and from the amount of poo they're producing they are eating well!

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Jobro »

I don't think all female plecos will be as fat as hypancistrus, peckoltia and some others often are.
L168 females were just as slim as the males on me and they still spawned.
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Last night I moved the new juvenile Pseudolithoxus dumus into the pleco breeding tank with the other two adult fish.

I took a couple of dorsal views, attached. Unfortunately I didn't have time to set up the photo tank for ventral views.

This fish is just over half the size of the other two, about 50mm SL. It's probably too young to be sure of the sex.

I bought some more caves at the CSG convention and have added them to the pleco breeding tank; there are now about 20 caves in there of various different sizes, shapes, open and closed ended etc. There are also some stacks of rocks and tangles of wood. Hopefully they'll find something suitable.
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My juvenile L244
My juvenile L244
My juvenile L244
My juvenile L244
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Jools »

Fingers crossed - and very nice to see you again at the convention weekend.

Cheers,

Jools
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Thanks Jools - it was great to chat with you and I really enjoyed the convention.
(Also came home to find my Cory burgessi had spawned for the first time, which was a nice surprise)

On the L244s, I've recently got in touch with Elko who was the first to breed Pseudolithoxus dumus. He has confirmed that my adults are a M/F pair and the juvenile is most likely a male.
Now I need to apply some patience :)

I'll keep looking for more L244s but they're scarce.

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: L244 Sexing

Post by Mol_PMB »

Today I found a shop with about 10 Pseudolithoxus dumus so I have added another fish to my group (now a total of 4).
The group seem to continue to co-exist peacefully and spend most of their time hiding in the tangle of caves and wood in their tank. I try not to disturb them too much, just doing water changes and feeding Repashy gel cubes and occasionally vegetables. Maybe one day they'll spawn?
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