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Spectracanthicus punctatissimus (Steindachner, 1881)

Image contributors to this species:

Alan Raeburn (2) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2) Daniel Konn-Vetterlein (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Spectracanthicus punctatissimus can be distinguished from all congeners by having 12-14 vertebrae from first neural spine not including hypural plate (vs.8-11 in remaining species). It further differs from its congeners (except from S. murinus) by having yellowish bars on tip of dorsal and caudal fins; from S. immaculatus and S. zuanoni by having small yellowish dots covering body (vs.color pattern uniform, with no dots or large white spots, respectively); and from S. tocantinensis by having the rounded dorsal profile of snout (vs.snout pointed). Spectracanthicus punctatissimus differs from S. murinus by presence of a bar-shaped eversible opercle with conspicuous odontodes (vs. triangle-shaped opercle not eversible, without conspicuous odontodes) and by the presence of 4 unbranched anal-fin rays (vs. 3 anal-fin unbranched rays). Aquarium Care: Should be no problem in the aquarium but would need a strong current and oxygen rich water due to the high temperatures enjoyed by this genus. Sexual Differences: Males have a longer and broader head and a larger growth of odontodes behind the gill covers and on the pectoral fin spines. Diet: Omnivore. A varied diet with both vegetable and other foods such as tablet and frozen. Remarks: Spectracanthicus punctatissimus is one of several, hard to distinguish white spotted Spectracanthicus species. Spectracanthicus punctatissimus (L030) can be told apart from L016 by it's lower dorsal fin and smaller caudal fin. L417 looks extremely similar to L030, but has bigger eyes and a more slender body. Spectracanthicus sp. “lower Xingu” is another similar form, but this lacks spots on the head. As if these representatives from the same genus weren't enough, Spectracanthicus punctatissimus is also often confused with Parancistrus nudiventris(L031), Spectracanthicus sp. L254 and Spectracanthicus sp. L315, all from Rio Xingu.

Common Name:

Peppermint Pleco, L030


Chaetostomus punctatissimus, Parancistrus punctatissimus, Hypostomus niveatus, Oligancistrus punctatissimus.




Brazil: Pará, Rio Xingu (Altamira)


15cm. (6ins)


26-30°c (79-87°f.)




Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p
loricariidae.info: www.loricariidae.info/spectracanthicus-punctatissimus-l30
Chamon, C.C. and L.H. Rapp Py-Daniel, 2014. Taxonomic revision of Spectracanthicus Nijssen & Isbrücker (Loricariidae: Hypostominae: Ancistrini), with description of three new species. Neotrop. Ichthyol. 12(1):1-25.



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