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Pterygoplichthys pardalis (Castlenau, 1855)

Image contributors to this species:

Vedran Cuncic (1) Jonas Hansel (4) BigFrogFeet (1) Nikola Banjeglav (1) Danny Blundell (1) Acuario Marcelo (1) Ian M. Clift (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus  

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Part of the P. multiradiatus group due to the lack of the hump on the head which relates to the P. lituratus group. The genus name has now been reclassified back 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. Pterygoplichthys species can be differentiated from the Hypostomus group by the larger amount of dorsal fin rays, which is usually over 10. This is probably why it has been miss sold many times as Hypostomus plecostomus in the hobby. Albino varieties first arrived in the U.K. in the early nineties through breeding programs carried out in the Czech Republic and it is now a common species bred in the Fish farms of the Far East and also Florida in the United States. This species has also been introduced in the Philippines alongside P. disjunctivus probably from unwanted aquarium specimens. Aquarium Care: Grows too large for the majority of home aquariums so would need to be housed in a 6ft (180cm) tank or over. Can be housed with most large fish due to its robust nature. Diet: Omnivore, vegetable and meaty foods plus flake, tablet and pellet foods. Will eat algae when young but not so much when it gets older.

Common Name:

Common Pleco, L021, L023, Albino pleco


Hypostomus pardalis, Liposarcus pardalis, Liposarcus varius, Liposarcus jeanesianus




South America: Lower, middle and upper Amazon River basin. Introduced to countries outside its native range.


50cm. (20ins)


25-30°c (77-87°f.)




Armbruster, J.W, 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the suckermouth armoured catfishes (Loricariidae) with emphasis on the Hypostominae and the Ancistrinae.
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.
Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p    



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                                                                                                 updated = November 17, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018