his is an inoffensive little fish
that does well in an aquaria of similar sized fishes, it has also
become a popular addition to the tanks of U.K. aquarists. It is
a member of the Loricariidae family and is in the sub-family
of Hypoptopomatinae which also includes the Hypoptopoma
and Otocinclus genera. To differentiate between Parotocinclus
and Otocinclus is comparatively easy as the former has
an adipose fin while the latter
There are approximately 18 species of Parotocinclus
from Brazil, with Dr.Garavello reviewing this genus in 1977
in the Arquivos de Zoologia, Sâo Paulo in a paper 'Systematics
and Geographical distributions of the genus Parotocinclus'.
He also stated that the males have a genital papilla and as such
it is a good way to sex out this genus.
It is a favourite here in the U.K on the show circuit as you can
purchase this fish at nearly show size, and with its good deportment
and colour it can do very well.
Below you can see the difference concerning the lack of an adipose
fin in the Otocinclus genera to differentiate it from Parotocinclus.
Parotocinclus maculicauda in good condition can possess a
golden body colouration with brown blotches, especially along the
lateral line, and a blotch on the caudal peduncle ( where the caudal
fin meets the fleshy part of the body) hence the latin name of
maculicauda ( spot on caudal peduncle) The leading ray to the
dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins is red with brown banding.
There have been spawning reports on some members of this genus and
for one such report you can go to Article
20 in the breeding article section of
Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Pectorals; 1/6; Ventrals
1/5; 24 bony scutes in a lateral series.
Grey-green to yellow-green, also grey-brown,
with irregular blotches on the flanks which may unite into vague-edged
longitudinal bands. Underside pale yellow to grey. A large dark
blotch at the root of the tail, which may be more or less extended
into the lower caudal lobe, is characteristic of this species.
The leading ray to the dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins is red
with brown banding.
Keeping this species is not too difficult
as long as you can keep the water clean and don't let the p.H.
drop too much. Keep up the water changes and try to keep them
in the lower tropical temperatures as they do come from the southern
parts of Brazil.
Usually lays its eggs on vegetation in
the aquarium ( see Article
They are omnivorous ( vegetable and meat
diet ) and will eat lettuce, cucumber, courgette (zucchini) and
also white and grindal worm, frozen bloodworm, flake and tablet
J.C. (1977): Systematics
and geographical distribution of the genus Parotocinlcus
Eigenmann & Eigenmann, 1889 (Ostariophysi, Loricariidae).
Arq. Zool. S. Paulo 28 (4): 1-37.
Sands, David: Catfishes of the World vol 4,1984.
Sterba, Gunther: Freshwater Fishes of the World vol.2.