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Chaetostoma formosae Ballen, 2011

Image contributors to this species:

Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (4) Mike Jacobs (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory 

Relevant Information:

Often found in shipments alongside C. dorsale. Can be identified by the spotted head and the black lines on the edges of the body plates. Chaetostoma formosae differs from all the species currently in Chaetostoma with the exception of Chaetostoma anale and Chaetostoma jegui by the presence in mature males of an enlarged second unbranched anal-fin ray bearing two distinct posterior dermal folds, and reaching the base of the caudal fin when fully developed. Chaetostoma formosae differs from C. anale in having an angular distal pelvic-fin margin in mature males (vs. W-shaped distal margin in mature C. anale males and the leading pelvic-fin ray neither elongate nor filamentous, not reaching beyond the adjacent branched ray in mature males (vs. leading pelvic-fin ray both enlarged and filamentous, longer than the remaining rays in mature males of C. anale). Chaetostoma formosae differs from C. jegui in having dark spots restricted to the head and the dorsal region surrounding the dorsal-fin base, and with compound pterotic and lateral plates bordered by dark pigment (vs. dark background with light blotches in C. jegui); and by the shape of the distal margin of the pelvic fin strongly projected and angular in mature males, vs. distal margin straight and with leading-fin ray sometimes surpassing the distal margin of the fin as evident in photographs). Aquarium Care: Will need a good water flow in the aquarium with a sand substrate and plenty of hiding places. Diet: Great algae eater, but you will have to subsidise this food with algae wafers and vegetable foods such as cucumber, zucchini and lettuce. Will also except tablet and worm foods. Remarks: The Chaetostoma species are not the easiest to maintain as the mountain stream species will need a water current to provide oxygen-rich water. The species that are exported usually originate from warmer waters so are a bit easier to keep than the mountain stream variety. Sexual differences: Males have better colour, a broader head and lips and adult males possess longer ventral fins than the females.

Common Name:

L187b, L444, Blonde Bulldog Pleco






South America: Colombia. Known from western piedmont tributaries of the upper río Meta and Guaviare basins, in departments of Meta and Casanare, Eastern Colombia, Orinoco drainage.


10.0cm. (4ins)


22-27°c (71-81°f.)




Ballen, G.A., 2011. A new species of Chaetostoma Tschudi (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Colombia with a definition of the C. anale species group. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 51(26):383-398.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2011. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version.



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