s of September 2022 there are about 37 described species
of Parotocinclus with Otocinclus maculicauda
Steindachner, 1877 with type by monotypy (he condition
of a taxon having only a single subordinate taxon).
Our subject this month is of course a member of this
genera namely Parotocinclus haroldoi, a very
pretty loricariid which is now becoming more common
in exports but is still one of the more rarer members
of the Hypoptopomatinae sub-family. Not often exported
due to the catchment area not being visited very often
by fishermen but there are collections being made
now in Northeastern Brazil by Brazilian exporter Hudson
Crizanto Gonçalves so hopefully this species
will be seen more often in the hobby. One of
the nicest marked Parotocinclus species.
The genus Parotocinclus
can readily be distinguished from Otocinclus
by the presence of an adipose fin whereas Otocinclus
do not posses one. Parotocinclus haroldoi
was described originally based on eight specimens
deposited in the Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro
(MNRJ) and Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São
Paulo (MZUSP), which were collected by Joaquim de
Figueiredo in 1971 (Garavello, 1988).
haroldoi is known
from the Parnaíba river basin. The Parnaíba
river basin extends in Ceará, Piauí
and Maranhão States, Northeast, Brazil, in
Caatinga and Cerrado region. It was collected at various
locations in the upper, middle and low portions of
the Rio Parnaíba, suggesting a wide geographic
distribution of the species within the basin, large
portion of places under the Caatinga domain and a
small portion of the high Parnaíba, in the
Cerrado. Specimens were collected in the main course
of the Rio Parnaíba, and also on tributaries
Gurgueia, Canindé-Piauí, Poti and Longá.
In its original
description, Garavello (1988) only mentions the Córrego
do Otaviano, Pocó do Sanharó, riacho
Sanharó, Piauí as its type locality,
not specifying the municipality (Ramos et al, 2020).
Parnaíba River basin there are two other congeners,
P. cabessadecuia and P. cearensis.
Parotocinclus haroldoi is distinguished from
P. cabessadecuia for having developed adipose
fin (vs. rudimentary or absent adipose fin) and P.
cearensis, for having abdomen covered by entirely
plates (vs. almost naked abdomen with small sparse
Rio Parnaíba basin, Northeastern Brazil.
Córrego do Otaviano, Poço do Sanharó,
Riacho Sanharó, Piauí, Brazil.
haroldoi is usually found in moderate
current flow in rivers with rock bottom and
gravel substrate, at rivers under the dominion
of the Caatinga and Cerrado. It was registered
in co-occurrence in Rio Guaribas, tributary
of Canindé-Piauí with other
loricariids: Ancistrus damasceni
(Steindachner), Loricariichthys derbyi
Fowler, Hypostomus johnii (Steindachner)
and Hypostomus sp. Other co-occuring
species were Aequidens tetramerus
(Heckel), Astyanax bimaculatus (Linnaeus),
Astyanax fasciatus (Cuvier),Caenotropus
labyrinthicus (Kner), Characidium
zebra Eigenmann, Cichlasoma sanctifranciscense
Kullander, Compsura heterura Eigenmann,
Crenicichla menezesi Ploeg, Curimatella
Geophagus parnaibae Staeck &
Schindler, Hemiodus parnaguae Eigenmann
& Henn, Hoplias malabaricus (Bloch),
Leporinus piau Lutken, Jupiaba
polylepis (Günther), Knodus
victoriae (Steindachner), Phenacogaster
calverti (Fowler), Pimelodus
sp., Poecilia sarrafae Bragança
& Costa, Potamotrygon signata
Garman, Prochilodus lacustris Steindachner,
Psellogrammus kennedyi (Eigenmann),
Pygocentrus nattereri Kner, Schizodon
rostratus (Borodin), Serrapinnus
piaba (Lütken), Steindachnerina
notonota (Miranda Ribeiro) and Triportheus
signatus (Garman) (Ramos et al, 2020).
Rio Parnaíba basin, Northeastern Brazil.
Córrego do Otaviano,
Poço do Sanharó, Riacho Sanharó,
Body slightly short and somewhat
depressed. Greatest body width at cleithrum, progressively
tapering to the end of caudal peduncle. Dorsal profile
slightly convex from snout to dorsal-fin origin; slightly
concave from dorsal-fin origin to adipose fin; straight
at adipose fin base; slightly concave from this point
to origin of uppermost caudal-fin rays. Read more
on the paper by Ramos
Background colour dark brown
to greyish, with four lighter dark brown bars inconspicuous
on the upper part of the trunk; most previous at
the dorsal fin origin; the second on the base of
the dorsal fin; the third at the adipose fin origin
and the last on the caudal peduncle, near the origin
of the caudal fin. Side with a dark brown band extending
from the previous part or the snout to the caudal
peduncle. Clear yellowish small elongated spots
on the dorsal and lateral regions of the head and
trunk, lighter patch in the pineal region; the spots
of the trunk generally converging in two series
on the lateral. Ventral region of the head and abdomen
(trunk) yellowish. Fins with dark chromatophores
concentrated, forming irregular set of stripes that
alternates between dark brown and yellow clear:
dorsal fin of three or four stripes; pectoral, pelvic
and anal fins of two or three stripes dark brown
inconspicuous. Caudal fin with three stripes dark,
the first two rather dark: one transversal on the
base of fin, the second a bar oblique only in the
lower lobe and third transversal inconspicuous in
both lobes (Ramos
Care & Compatibility
Not a well known species but
good aquarium husbandry with regular water changes
and good oxygen content should suffice.
urogenital papilla positioned just behind anal opening.
No other characters of sexual dimorphism were recorded
in Parotocinclus haroldoi, as described for
example for P. cabessadecuia in Ramos et
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.
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 peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached. Cleithrum: The major bone of the
pectoral girdle, extending upward from the pectoral
fin base and forming the rear margin of the gill cavity,
also: the principal bow-shaped bone of the prectoral
girlde, dermal in origin, forming the rear margin
of the gill cavity. It articulates dorsally with the
supracleithrum and ventrally with the scapula and
coracoid. Dorsal fin:The
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head. Pelvic fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins. (also referred to
Greek, para in the side of + greek, ous, otis = ear
+ Greek, kygklos, ou = a fish.
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil
(Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform
primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008.
FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (02/2016). Ramos, T. P. A., L. de F. B. Neto, K. C.
F. Ferreira and J. E. de L. Barbosa 2020
(17 Mar.) Redescription of Parotocinclus haroldoi
Garavello, 1988 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), northeastern
Brazil. Zootaxa 4751 (no. 2): 321-332. Schaefer, S.A., 2003. Loricariidae
- Hypoptopomatinae (Armored catfishes). p. 321-329.
In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris,
Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of
South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS,