Ancistrus species is typified by its unusually
broad head flattened body and its black body colour.The common name of "Tadpole Bristlenose
Catfish" points to this trait of its unusually
flat head. The males head bristles are very thick
and not branched at the end, unlike most of this genera.The image below shows the
unbranched and thorn shaped head bristles, or tentacles,
in this male
Both sexes have
fleshy 'tentacles' but the males are bushier and longer
as typified in the picture of a female below. Inhabits
clear running water, to a depth of 3 meters during
dry season. Prefers narrow cracks of submerged rocks,
small passages between superimposed rocks, or lives
below flat rocks on the bottom.
- mouth view
In the aquarium
you can provide pipe work, flat and rounded stones
in a river type setup on a sandy substrate where they
will happily reside under as long as the stones are
not too heavy. You will also need to provide a good
current in the water as they do prefer this and will
not do well without it.
A similar species
(L255), which also has spots
when young but this species holds on to this trait
into adulthood whereas A.ranunculus does
Bristlenose Catfish, L034.
and Tocantins River basins. Type locality:
Brazil, Pará, Rio Xingú, furo do Tucum
Seco, near Arroz Cru.
A broad head and flattened
teeth than your average Ancistrus.
Black body colouration with
paler white blotches to the body.
Care & Compatibility
No problem with otherfishes in the aquarium but due to its liking
for a water current you would need to investigate
further any species that would be compatable with
the aquarium as A.ranunculus is not one of
the easiest species of Ancistrus to spawn.
Should be as per typical of
this genera. (See breeding
articles on ScotCat.)
As with other members of this
genus the male sports bristles to the head area, the
male having the larger and more impressive tentacles
and the female may have shorter bristles.
Likes a meaty diet which is
somewhat different from most members of the Ancistrinae.
Feed frozen foods such as bloodworm and pellet, tablet
and pre-soaked flake.
Ancistrus:With barbed hooks, (hooked spines). ranunculus: Meaning "Tadpole"
and referring to its unusually flat head.
C.J. Jr., 2007.
Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary
types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Muller, S., L.H. Rapp Py-Daniel and J. Zuanon
1994 Ancistrus ranunculus, a new species
of loricariidae fish (Siluriformes: Loricariidae)
from the Xingu and Tocantins rivers, Brazil. Ichthyol.
Explor. Freshwat. 5(4):289-296. Seidel, Ingo; Back to Nature guide
to L-catfishes 208 p.