leopardus (Fowler, 1914)
his very impressive
looking Loricariidae below is owned by Andy Duck of the Northern
Area Catfish Group of Great Britain (now the
Catfish Study Group ) It has won countless trophies including
Supreme Champion at the British Aquarist Festival. At the time
of this factsheet in 1997 it was of course known as Pseudacanthicus
leopardus but since 2001 there has appeared in the trade the
true P. leopardus described by Fowler in 1914 and the Loricariidae
that was formerly known as leopardus is now Pseudacanthicus
sp. L025. the Scarlet Pleco
Now if you have taken in all that! I will
point out the differences in the both species.
In the original description it was noted that P. leopardus
had pale to dark brown and numerous black blotches throughout
the body as can be on the fish below, this is where it gets its
species name from, Leopard-like (a reference to the colour), while
L025 above has four lines of spots running the length of the body.
The difference is quite significant with also the eyes being somewhat
dissimilar, L025 has to me, 'evil eyes', which seem to follow
you around when viewing it, and they are also yellow. The eye's
of P. leopardus are normal and it is also a smaller fish
than Pseudacanthicus sp. L025 which grows to an impressive
Following are two short write-ups
by U.S. aquarists Larry Vires and Les Mumford.
Several aquarists have had problems with feeding the smaller
fish on a flake diet and had me stumped until I spoke with a local
shop which has 3 of them in their display tank. The fish grow
rather quickly if given a meaty diet of live or frozen foods,
but they could not get them to accept flakes. : Larry
Les Mumford also E-Mailed me about his leopardus
which he aquired from a friend returning from Brazil. It is now
6" long and he tells me that it is quite keen on zuchini
Acknowledgments: Julian Dignall of Planetcatfish
for his information on the name changes involving these two species.
Larry Vires and Les Mumford for their input to this Factsheet.
Update (2010): According
to Seidel (2008), L114/LDA07
is a similar looking species from the Rio Demini in the central
Rio Negro system in Brazil. P. leopardus is supposed
to be more elongated and strongly flattened and a different colouration
than the L and LDA numbers mentioned.
Dorsal 1/8; Anal 1/5; Pectorals; 1/6; Ventrals
1/5; 24 bony scutes in a lateral series. Dorsal fin large, flag-like.
Head and gill cover thickly set with spines; interopercular with
12 hooked spines which are movable.
Pale to dark brown with numerous orregular
black blotches on the body and fins. Underside grey-yellow.
When small they can be kept in a community
tank but when adult, they can get quite aggressive. A large aquarium (6'
0" or over) is needed to display this dramatic looking Loricariid
to its best advantage. I do feel that
this is a fish only for the specialists who have the experience
and dedication to take care of it, and to take care of the good
water quality needed. Prefers soft and acidic water as it is a black-water
Reported to have been bred in the aqurium
but very high losses of fry.
Seem to preferr cooked mussels and prawns
as adults. Include some vegatable food such as zuchini (courgette).
Will also take frozen bloodworm and tablet food.
fishes of the World Vol.2 1973
With false thorns.
leopardus; Leopard-like, (a reference
to the colour.)
Top: Allan James @