Zebra Plecostomus, Hypancistrus zebra

The Zebra Plecostomus (Hypancistrus zebra) is a species of catfish that is frequently found in the Xingu River, which is a tributary of the Amazon River. The Zebra Plecostomus received its name because of its black and white stripes. In the early 1990s this fish was first identified. Brazil exported this fish in large numbers, regardless of this, the Zebra Plecostomus is not found on the IUCN red list. The Brazilian government did put a band on the exportation of this fish. Because of the Zebra Plecostomus’s popularity, and because it is an exotic, expensive catfish there has been captive breeding.

When male Zebra Plecostomus matures, it has a longer interopercular spine and a larger head than the female. Males guard the eggs after spawning. After seven days the fry swim and in two weeks absorb the yolk and sac.

In terms of the L-numbering convention that is applied to Loricariidae, the Zebra Plecostomus is called L-46. This fish is typically used to describe fish that subsist on algae, although this fish is usually described as a suckermouth catfish. This fish would do better on a carnivorous diet. It likes hiding places and little light, along with quiet company.

Image Credit: Birger A/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)