ne of the earliest kept Loracariids (pleco's)
along with the various Ancistrus species and the common Plecostomus
was this slim-like fish and its compatriots in the Rineloricaria
genus such as R.filamentosa, R.lanceolata and
R.microlepidogaster, and in Gunther Sterba's two volumes
of the "Freshwater Fishes of the World (1973)" there is
line drawings of all four of these species showing tail filament's
and an excellent drawing of the ventral plates on each of them.
The fish we once knew for many years as Rineloricaria parva
has now undergone a name change to this months factsheet title,
This in my opinion is one of the most difficult
whiptail species to identify with any great certainty
as being easy to breed they are abundant in show and club auctions
and are just sold as Rineloricaria, they could be anyone
of half a dozen species or even crosses between two close species
as a few of them have the cross banding on the body area but in
the main H. parva should have double extensions to the
There are plenty of articles in the various aquatic magazines
on the breeding of this species and Scotcat has also an in-depth
piece from the late and much missed Helen Burns titled appropriately
parva, The Whiptail
A member of our club, Greenock & D.A.S., has also bred this
species but the unusual aspect of this spawning was that the female
laid her eggs in a pipe that was floating on the water surface.
Below is a thumbnail gallery of this spawning. Click on the thumbnail
for a larger picture.
Note: This species is
still listed in Fishbase and the Catalog of Fishes as Rineloricaria
parva but the name is currently accepted in some quarters
as Hemiloricaria parva. Issbrücker (Issbrücker
in Issbrücker et al, 2001) declared the synonymity of Rineloricaria
and Hemiloricaria as no longer valid, and the latter
again as an independent genus. The differences between the two
genera are based on the positions of the males bristles and the
top caudal filament on adult Hemiloricaria which is absent
||Male guarding eggs in
plastic pipe on surface of water (1)
||Male guarding eggs in
plastic pipe on surface of water (2)
||Fry at the age of one
||Fry at the age of two
||Individual fry at two
||Fry feeding at two weeks
H. parva, R. microlepidogaster, R. lanceolata,
Dorsal: 1/7, Anal: 1/5, Pectorals: 1/5, Ventrals:
1/4 29 bony scutes in a lateral series. The pectoral fin-spine reaches
to the second quarter of the ventral fin-spine when both are laid
back. Upper and lower rays of caudal fin have long filaments. On
the hinder part of the belly there are 3-4 rows of ventral scutes
between the lateral ones; on the anterior part are numerous small
Upperside is olive-grey to grey-yellow with
numerous black blotches which are often united into transverse bars.
Underside clay-yellow to whitish. An irregular dark line runs obliquely
forward from the eye to the tip of the mouth. Fins transparent,
with dark blotches or rows of blotches on the fin-rays.
They are easy to keep and breed and do well
in a community tank as long as there is species that are not too
aggressive kept alongside them.
Provide caves or pipework where the females
will lay their eggs as in the wild they are laid in hollow logs
or branches. The male takes over the guarding of the green coloured
eggs and they hatch, depending on water temperature, between 3 and
Provide a good vegetable diet for the adults
such as cucumber, courgette (zucchini) and also sinking tablet food.
Fry can be reared on the same foods after a start on brine shrimp
and blanched lettuce leaves.
of Great Britain; Vol
Gunther Sterba; Freshwater Fishes of the World (1973)
Evers, H.-G. &
Baensch Catfish Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005.
|Allan James @
Bottom Drawing: Gunther Sterba; Freshwater Fishes
of the World (1973) Vol 2