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Rineloricaria latirostris (Boulenger, 1900)

his month (May, 2009) we stay with the Loricariidae family and concentrate on a cooler water Pleco in the "Bristly whiptail catfish" Rineloricaria latirostris.

Rineloricaria latirostris

In 1862 Bleeker in his description of Rineloricaria also mentioned Hemiloricaria and it is now ascertained that the latter occur in the warmer climes of South America and Rineloricaria hail from the southeastern and southern half of South America. Alongside the Ancistrus spp. this genus is another that needs a complete revision to sort them out. The problems have been that a lot of the Rineloricaira spp. were described in the last century and only loose locations were assigned to each species.


This species is very good at camoflage and the bottom image shows you the cryptic colours that it can take on to merge with the substrate and surroundings.



Rineloricaria latirostris = cryptic colours



They live in the flowing mountain streams of the rain forrest so temperatures in the low end of the tropical scale would be better, especially for breeding purposes. The species that has been bred more often under this name is Rineloricaria sp. aff. latirostris which occurs near the city of Rio de Janeiro and as such is easier to export.



Dorsal fin opposite to the base of the pectoral fins. Papillae and a protrusion of the lips. Bicuspd teeth with pointed tips.

Cryptic pattern to its surroundings based on a cream/yellow boby colour. Belly white.

Very peaceful inhabitant of a community tank with cooler temperatures.

If you are thinking of spawning them a separate tank kitted out with PVC pipes (not too large) for the placement of eggs would be a better option than a community tank, although growing on a few in the main tank from youngsters would suffice as they can be difficult to sex out when young and only when they get sexually mature that you tell the sexes apart. Articles on the breeding of Rineloricaria spp. can be found in the breeding article section of ScotCat and can be viewed here and here

Sexual Differences
Difficult when young but sexually mature males take on small bristles to the cheeks and head area. The female is devoid of this.

Omnivorous species but likes a good bit of vegetable fare in their diet.

Glossary of Terms

Dorsal fin:The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body
Papillae: A small fleshy projection, plural papillae.
Bicuspd teeth: Ending in two points; a tooth with two cusps or points.
Cryptic: Hidden, obscure, little seen.
Omnivorous: Pertaining to both vegetable and flesh diet.


Rineloricaria: Rhine = file; loricara = harness.

Evers, H.-G. & Seidel, I: Mergus, Baensch Catfish Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005. Pp.944.

Photo Credits

© Hans-Georg Evers

Factsheet 155

Loricaria latirostris, Loricaria paulina, Rineloricaria paulina
Common Name:
Bristly whiptail catfish
South America: Upper Paraná River basin.: Type locality: Southern Brazil, Province São Paulo, Mogy-guassu River about 250 miles inland of Santos.
20cm. (8ins)
18-22°c (63-71°f.)
6.0 - 7.0
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                                                                                                         Factsheet 155 = updated March 30, 2009, © ScotCat 1997-2018  Go to Top