is an inoffensive little catfish 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 does not. .
are approximately 35 described 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.
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 ScotCat.
coastal rivers between Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro.
20-24ºC ( 67-75°f)
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.
Care & Compatibility
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
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 food.
Greek, para in the side of + greek, ous, otis = ear
+ Greek, kygklos, ou = a fish. maculicauda:
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. Bony scutes: Bony covering. Caudal fin: The tail. Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of
a fish's body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached. Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Genital
fleshy tube behind the anus in some fishes, from which
the sperm or eggs are released; the sex of a fish often
can be determined by the shape of its papilla. Lateral line: A sensory line, along
the sides of the body. Pectorals:The paired
fins just behind the head. Ventrals: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins.
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. 1973.