All FishesLoricariidaeHypostominaePterygoplichthys

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Scientific Name Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus  (Hancock, 1828)
Common Names Orinoco Sailfin Catfish
Sejlfinnet Sugemalle (Denmark), Vielgepunkteter Schilderwels (Germany)
Type Locality [Probably near Santa Catalina, Orinoco system], Demerara, Guyana.
Pronunciation terry gop LICK thees
Etymology Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish. Multiradiatus in reference to the number of rays in the dorsal rays (it was originally described as a species in Hypostomus, which normally has 8 rays in the dorsal fin).
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 500mm or 19.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Pterygoplichthys can be identified by the number of rays in the dorsal fin. Ten or more dorsal rays (usually more than 10) indicates that it's a Pterygoplichthys. Most other plecos have 8 or fewer rays (in particular the larger Hypostomus species that are most likely to be confused with Pterygoplichthys).
Sexing Comparison of the genital papilla in mature fish shows the differences in the sexes to the trained eye. In males this is a small yet thick stump which noticeably protrudes from the fish's undercarriage. In females it is less obvious and is recessed or lies flat with the body.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Orinoco River basin. Reported from Argentina. Introduced and established in Taiwan, mainland USA and Hawaii.
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
pH 6.5 - 7.8
Temperature 23.0-27.0°C or 73.4-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivorous and a good algae eater, especially when young.
Suggested Tankmates Almost any medium sized community fish.
Breeding Unreported in captivity, in nature, the male fish occupies a tunnel in soft river bank in which the eggs are laid and guarded. The egg mass of bright orange eggs contains thousands of eggs.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Zoological Journal, London v. 4, pp 246.
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Last Update 2022 Jul 17 09:01 (species record created: 2002 Sep 25 00:00)