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Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus (Weber, 1991)

Image contributors to this species:

Art Plumstead (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus  

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory  Catalog of Fishes

Relevant Information:

The thumbnail image shows a species caught by the Image Contributor in San Antonio, Texas in the U.S.A. and is not indigenous to this country. The genus name has now been reclassified to Pterygoplichthys from Liposarcus due to the work carried out by J.W. Armbruster 2004. There are still some publications that still use Liposarcus as the preferred genus name. Aquarium Care: Whatever the status of this species it will be reasonably peaceful, if large species, which will need a good sized aquarium starting of with a 3 footer ( 90cm) when small and progressing to a larger tank with good external filtration to facilitate a good oxygen content, as it excretes copious amounts of waste if fed properly on vegetable matter. If the water quality is not adhered to, small holes can appear in the fin membranes. You will notice when your water quality is not up to the mark as they "hang" in the water just of their fins, from the substrate, which means 'get that water change done'. It is kind to plants in the aquarium, the only problem is when it gets bigger and can uproot them in its conquest around the tank. Very hardy species which will do well in normal aquarium temperatures. You can identify a Pterygoplichthys species from Hypostomus for example due to the many more rays in the dorsal fin, which can be up to 10 or over. They also have nasal flutes on the nose. Diet: They are mostly vegetarian with algae being their number one source of food but to keep a large fish fed on algae alone is impossible so you can feed also, spinach, blanched lettuce, cucumber, courgette (zucchini) and also non veg food such as tablets and prawns. Remarks: Similar looking to P. pardalis but has a vermiculated pattern to the stomach, hence the common name whereas P. pardalis has spots. This species has also been introduced to the Philippines alongside P. pardalis probably from unwanted aquarium specimens.

Common Name:

Vermiculated sailfin catfish






South America: Madeira River basin: Bolivia and Brazil; introduced in Asia; established in Florida. Type locality: Rio Madeira, système de l’Amazonas, Restauracão, Ama-zonas, Brésil.


50.0cm. (20ins)


22-28°c (71-83°f.)




Armbruster, J.W, 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the suckermouth armoured  catfishes (Loricariidae) with emphasis on the Hypostominae and the Ancistrinae.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p
Chavez, J.M., R.M. de la Paz, S.K. Manohar, R.C. Pagulayan and R. Carandang VI, 2006. New Philippine record of south american sailfin catfishes (Pisces: Loricariidae). Zootaxa 1109:57-68.   



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                                                                                                 updated = November 17, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018