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Hemiancistrus subviridis  Werneke, D. C., M. H. Sabaj, N K. Lujan, and J W. Armbruster. 2005.

his months factsheet (August 2004) takes us into the ichthyologist minefield of the so called L-Numbers and to a species which to my mind is a fine starting point if you want to go into the uncharted waters (so to speak) of the ever growing and burgeoning world of the L-and LDA Numbers.


Hemiancistrus subviridis


L200 was first imported in 1995 and was depicted in the Aqualog all L-Numbers as Loracariidae gen. sp. (similar L128) and it has been into the Baryancistrus and Chaetostoma genera and now is labeled in the Ancistrinae subfamily but may sometime in the future with the on-going work of Armbruster, be placed in the Hypostominae (see updated footnote as off 2005 below).  There are a lot of grey areas with a lot of the L-Numbers and it will be many years before an even slight semblance of order is carried out. This doesn't take away of course, that in my humble opinion, this is one of the nicest Loracariids going the rounds and certainly one of my favourites.

Now you may have noticed the mention of L128 and there is a quite strong assumption that this species is actually the same as our factsheet of the month and is the northern population. It is depicted in the photograph below and you can see the resemblance with the body shape and the spots. The difference of course is the darker almost blue colouration and more spots which go all the way through the body and on to the caudal fin. The further south you go in the Orinoco River system the lighter the fish gets, and ranges from the blue in our photo, in the north, to the yellow above in the south and on our journey the colours range through black, bluish/green, olive/green, mustard green and yellow. In the ensuing years we will no doubt find out whether this assumption of one and the same fish, is true or not (see updated footnote as off 2005 below).

Hemiancistrus sp (L128)

As stated earlier this is a fairly easy species to keep as Loracariids go and does well and looks good in the larger sized community tank set-up with medium sized inmates such as the South American Silver Dollars, or even African Congo Tetras. Furnishings for your tank could include either sand or gravel for the substrate, driftwood and rock work for decoration. Plants are not a necesity as they may eat them, but if Java Fern is used they will browse the leaves of any build-up of algae. Does like a bit of water movement in the aquarium from either internal or external power filters.

Hemiancistrus subviridis = showing mouth structure

As can be seen from the mouth above, they have two rows of teeth on each jaw which they use for grazing on soft wood for Aufwuchs and rasping away on solid food such as prawns and tablet food.

Updated Footnote:
Only recently (2005) been described by the above authors. Green phantom plecos (L200s) are actually two species, Baryancistrus (Baryancistrus demantoides) and the other, this months factsheet, Hemiancistrus (Hemiancistrus subviridis) from Southern Venezuela.
  The main difference between these two similar looking species is that Baryancistrus has a connecting fleshy skin fold between the posterior of the dorsal fin connecting it to the fleshy adipose fin. Hemiancistrus has these two fins separate.

Hypostomus body shape. Forked caudal fin. Sucker mouth with two rows of teeth on upper and lower jaw bone.

As stated in article, if we are not including L128, colours range from mustard/yellow to yellow with dark yellow to lemon spots over dorsal, pectoral and ventral fins and over head and front part of body up to the posterier end of dorsal fin. Belly clear.

Will do well in your medium to large aquarium with larger tetra type fish.

No reports, as with a good many of the larger L-Numbers, but if this is indeed a Hypostomus species they may lay their eggs in burrows dug into the sides of larger rivers. A note on the sexing of male and female. There is a L200 "Hifin" which is basically the same as our factsheet of the month but with a higher dorsal fin. This may represent the male species against the normal dorsal of the female, we are not too sure. Body shape may also play a part with the male being broader across the head.

This is an Omnivore. In other words it will thrive on a varied diet. Vegetable food such as algae tablets, cucumber and courgette (zucchini), prepared foods such as prawns and mussels, insect larvae, tablet and pellet foods and it also likes to graze on soft woods such as driftwood branches or logs.

DATZ Special; All L-Numbers: Habitat, Care & Diet
Aqualog Special; Loricariidae The most beautiful L-numbers
www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/res_area/loricariid/fish_key /Baryan/baryan.html
Werneke, D. C., M. H. Sabaj, N K. Lujan, and J W. Armbruster. 2005.  Baryancistrus  demantoides and Hemiancistrus subviridis, two new uniquely  colored species of  loricariids from Venezuela (Siluriformes: Loricariidae).  Neotropical Ichthyology, 3 (4):  533–542.

Photo Credits
Allan James @ ScotCat
Factsheet 098

Common Name:
L200, Lemon Spotted Green Pleco, Green Phantom Pleco
Venezuela Venezuela, Amazonas, upper Orinoco drainage
25.0cm. (10ins)
22-25°c (71-77°f.)
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                                                                                                                                    Factsheet 98 = updated April 28, 2004 © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top