first imports of the Vampire Plec, the
common name given because of its unique tooth pattern,
(large teeth in the upper jaw) were from Belem in
Brazil by a German fish exporter, Arthur Werner in
1985. It was one of the first of the new plecs
to come out of Brazil, and so it was given the L
number 007 (shades of Bond!), it was not until 4 years
later in 1989 that it was described to science.
depicts juvenile colours (L007)
Loricariid can be found with either yellow or white
spots , but I would guess that the older the fish
becomes, they would then fade to a dirty white colour,
plus the spots get smaller and more defined, hence
the difference in the juvenile and adult colourations.
There are three other species in this genus, L.
and Nijssen 1989, from the Rio Tapajos, L.
and Nijssen 1989, from the Rio Xingu and the newest
member named in 1992,L.
I. J. H., H. Nijssen and L. G. Nico 1992, where
you can now find a factsheet on this latest species
at ScotCat by clicking on the factsheet symbol
is readily identifiable from all other Ancistrini
by the development of only two teeth in each premaxilla,
the inner teeth being very long (all other Ancistrini
have more than two teeth in the premaxilla), by having
a well-raised supraoccipital crest (the supraoccipital
in most Ancistrini is flat to slightly raised) and
by having numerous long barbels above the upper jaws.
It has been hypothesized that the enlarged teeth of
the upper jaw are used to remove snails from their
shells (Burgess 1994).
The L-number L 029, is actually the adult version
of our factsheet of the month, as can be seen in the
two images depicted.
is a train of thought that L. galaxias is
L 029 and L 007 is a different fish, i.e. L.
cf. galaxias. L.029 has a shorter
dorsal, smaller spots and a longer head but we may
be dealing with juvenile and adult specimens
here. For clarity we have pictured all varieties here
as Leporacanthicus galaxias.
007, L 029, Vampire Plec
Two Large teeth in the upper
mandible, 10 longer teeth in the lower. Narrow, pointed
head, round lower lip, and fleshy tentacles on the
upper lip. Caudal fin straight, angled posteroventrally.
Three predorsal plates. Two teeth per premaxilla that
are much longer than the dentary teeth.
Colour pattern is generally
dark grey to black with white to golden spots or a
light gray with medium-sized black spots. Abdomen
Care & Compatibility
This fish can be territorial
with its own kind and so must have a big enough aquarium
if more than one is kept. Regular water changes must
be adhered to, and also having a powerful filter system
that can deliver a high oxygen content. Hiding places
are beneficial to this fish with bogwood or wood of
some description and/or some rockwork.
Digs tunnels in
their native rivers on the river banks to spawn just
below the waterline. These burrows can be seen when
the river lowers in the dry season. As far as I know
this species has not been bred in the aquarium probably
due to their special needs for carrying out this function.
The males have
a more elongated body and a broader head and they
also posses short odontodes on the edges of the snout
which the females lack.
Not a true vegetarian so a
wide variety of foods including algae, algae wafers,
cucumber or courgette (zuchini), prawns, shrimps and
Adipose fin:Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind
the rayed dorsal fin. Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on
the posterior half of the fish. Caudal: The tail. Nuchal: Area between the skull and
dorsal fin.. Supraoccipital process: Unpaired
bone at the back of the skull, usually with a crest.. Synonym:Different name for the same fish.
From the Latin; "lepus",
"leporis" meaning rabbit and from the Greek,
"akantha" meaning thorn.
Milky, also spotted.
H.A. and R. Riehl 1991 Aquarien atlas. Bd.
3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 1104 p. Datz Special:
All L-Numbers: Habitat, Care & Diet. Jon Armbrusters
Loricariid Home Page.