Otocinclus cocama Reis,
his Loracariid, in my personal opinion,
rivals the most revered member of this Family, the "Zebra
zebra. This is also a "Zebra" with the common
name of the "Zebra Oto". It is only since the year 2000
that this species was offered to the trade. Before being described
by Roberto E. Reis in 2004 it went under the name of Otocinclus
“zebra”. The holotype was collected in the Yanayacu
(approx. 04°55’S, 073°43’W), tributary to
the caño of the cocha Supay in Jenaro Herrera, Provincia
Requena, Departamento Loreto, Peru; Jan 2004,
This Otocinclus is of course
very distinctive and as such can be identified from all other
members of this genus by the vertically elongated blotches spanning
from the dorsal midline to the ventral border of flanks, and
by a complete lateral line. There seems to be a wide diversity
of markings on individual species but they all seem to have
the same distinctive blotch shape on the caudal peduncle and
the "W" shape band in the caudal fin.
The Otocinclus genus on its own has 15 recognised species
and a few others that have still to be described and was revised
in 1997 by Schaefer with 13 species as valid. A gap of 55 years
had occurred between the description of O. macrospilus
Eigenmann & Allen, 1942 and Schaefer’s (1997) revision
of Otocinclus, where five new species were described.
After 1997, four additional species have already been found.
O. tapirape Britto & Moreira, 2002, O. mimulus
Axenrot & Kullander, 2003, this months subject, Otocinclus
cocama Roberto E. Reis, 2004, and another yet undescribed
species from Peru and Colombia.
Dorsal spines (total): 2 - 2; Dorsal soft
rays (total): 7 - 7; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 5; Vertebrae:
28. Can be distinguished from all its congeners by the following:
unique, distinct color pattern consisting of vertically elongated
blotches spanning from the dorsal midline to the ventral border
of flanks; complete lateral line, without the gap plates (midbody
plates without lateral line perforations) present in other Otocinclus.
Can also be differentiated by having a high number of teeth (30-45
in premaxilla and 23-36 in dentary). Differs from Otocinclus
huaorani, Otocinclus mura and Otocinclus bororo
by having a small metapterygoid channel and one W-shaped mark in
the caudal fin
cocama in the aquarium is not too much of a problem but
they do seem to be a bit more sensitive to the captive environment
than other members of this genus. You should provide them however,
as is with most Otocinclus, a planted tank, as they
are found in the wild amongst abundant vegetation. Provide them
with vegetable based foods or they will start to damage plants
in the aquarium. Substrate can be of small rounded gravel or
sand. I personally prefer the latter as their feces (and it
can be a lot with a vegetarian diet) sits atop this medium and
can be hoovered off when carrying out your regular water changes.
Acknowledgment: Roberto E. Reis for permission
to reference his paper.
Ground colour of head and dorsum bluish white
to slightly creamy yellowish. Dorsum of head and snout between nares
black. Lateral portions of snout and postorbital region of head
also black, leaving narrow, V-shaped white band beginning at snout
tip, passing through nares and above orbits, and progressing laterally
through compound pterotic (the cranium). Ventral margin of snout
darkened but head otherwise white or pale yellowish ventrally. Color
pattern of dorsum of body and flanks formed by four black or dark
gray, saddle-shaped blotches; one at origin of dorsal fin, second
behind dorsal-fin base, third between dorsal and caudal fins, and
fourth at base of caudal fin. Caudal fin with W-shaped vertical
band in distal half, but leaving narrow hyaline band at margin.
Base of two central caudal-fin rays usually black, as prolongation
of last caudal peduncle black blotch.
Peaceful, a good community fish alongside
small upper swimming inhabitants.
Algae and vegetable based foods such as cucumber
and courgette ( zucchini). Will also accept tablet food and frozen
bloodworm and vegetable based flake food.
|Males are usually smaller
than females and have a conical urogenital papilla behind
the anal tube, which is not present in females. Also, males
possess a skinflap on the dorsal surface of the unbranched
pelvic-fin ray, which is absent in females. Finally, males
have a small contact organ formed by an odontode swirl at
ventral margin of the caudal peduncle, near the caudal fin
Middle or inner.
Holotype: The specimen on which the description
of a new species is based.
Oto = ear; cinclus = a latticework, (an
allusion to the holes in the head in the region of the ear).
cocoma: Named after the Cocama-Cocamilla
Indians of the lower Ucayali and Marañon rivers.
Otocinclus cocama, a new uniquely colored loricariid catfish
from Peru (Teleostei: Siluriformes), with comments on the
impact of taxonomic revisions to the discovery of new taxa.
Neotropical Ichthyology, 2(3):109-115.
Allan James @
: Lower Ucayali and Marañon Rivers. Type
locality: quebrada Yanayacu
(approx. 04º55'S, 073º43'W), tributary to the caño
of the cocha Supay in Jenaro Herrera, Provincia Requena, Departamento
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