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Peckoltia lujani Armbruster, Werneke & Tan, 2015 

his is an ideal community catfish as it is quite a hardy character living quite happily in different water conditions as long as they are not too extreme and they are aclimatised slowly to them. They are not too happy when the nitrates rise to an unacceptable level, so keep the water changes up if you experience high levels, or plant heavily as they don't seem to harm plants.

Peckoltia lujani

P. lujani was listed for many years as Ancistrinae sp. (L127) due to the overlaps of traits to different genera. It was given two L-numbers, L127 (DATZ 05/1993) and L207 (DATZ 03/1996) which are one and the same species. As of the paper by Armbruster et al. (2015) this species has now been moved into the Peckoltia genus and described.

There are over 50 species (2015) in this genera, described and non described (L-numbers), and most of them are very difficult to put a name to unless you have a location specified. Work is still being done on the Peckoltia genera, plus the genus Hemiancistrus which are very alike. The colour patterns in Peckoltia tends to go from a spotted head to brown bands on a lighter coloured background.



Peckoltia lujani  = head view


Head view


Not the most colourful of catfish but if you are starting out with a tentative dip into the large and diverse species that makes up the Loricariids you could do no worse than the Peckoltia genera and a start with Peckoltia lujani aka L127/L207.


The specific name is in honour of the former graduate student of JWA, Dr. Nathan Lujan. Dr. Lujan who has led expeditions to some of the most remote regions of South America and obtained some of the most important specimens for the study of loricariid systematics specifically as well as South American fish systematics and ecology in general.

Body moderately elongate. Head and nape forming arc from tip of snout to anterior of parieto-supraoccipital, rising more rapidly to parieto-supraoccipital crest, and then more slowly to dorsal-fin. Dorsal slope decreasing in straight line to insertion of dorsal procurrent caudal rays then ascending to caudal fin. Body depth greatest below insertion of dorsal fin. Ventral profile flat to ventral procurrent caudal-fin rays, and then sloped ventrally. Caudal peduncle oval in cross section with dorsal and ventral surfaces flattened. Body widest at insertion of pectoral fins, narrowest at insertion of caudal fin. Snout rounded.

Base colour light tan with brown to black markings. Four dorsal saddles on the body, the first below the middle rays of the dorsal fin, the second below the posterior rays of the dorsal fin and slightly posterior, the third below the adipose fin and slightly anterior, and the fourth at the end of the caudal peduncle.

They like their own territory in the aquarium as males will sometimes spar with other males, but usually nothing comes of this confrontation as long as they have their own caves, be it PVC pipes, ceramic pots or even under flat stones that have been built up on the substrate.

Not easy. Good water quality and water changing at the right time. They lay their eggs in caves (pipes) and the male guards them for about 10 days. The feeding of courgette (zucchini) and peas taken out of their shell seems to be a precondition for the successful spawning of the Peckoltia genus.

Sexual Differences

The males have short odontodes (spines) covering the front edge of the pectoral fins and parts of the main body just behind the gill plates, these spines run the full length of the body, they also produce them on the hard rays of the caudal fin. The females are devoid of this character and I find that they are not quite as colourful as the males, being that bit darker.


Omnivore; Vegetarian food, tablets & pellets, insect larvae, zooplankton and soft wood. As mentioned in the breeding section they love courgette (zucchini), half cook them, sliced, in a pot of water and then frozen for future use. They are also partial to peas now and again. I find they are not a great algae eater like their Chatasoma cousins. I feed also algae wafers and tablet food, they are also keen on frozen bloodworm. Not a hard species to feed as again they are not too fussy.

Glossary of Terms

Supraoccipital: Unpaired bone at the back of the skull, usually with a crest.
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
Caudal fin: The tail.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached.
Pectoral fin: The paired fins just behind the head.
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.



Peckoltia: Named for Snr. Gustavo Peckolt of the Natural History Commission of Rondon.
lujani: In honour of Dr. Nathan Lujan.


L-Numbers Datz Special: Habitat, Care & Diet.
Armbruster, Jonathan W., David C. Werneke & Milton Tan. 2015 Three new species of saddled loricariid catfishes, and a review of Hemiancistrus, Peckoltia, and allied genera (Siluriformes). ZooKeys 480: 97-123.

Photo Credits

Factsheet 242

Common Name:
L127, L207
Venezuela: Amazonas. Type Locality: Venezuela, Amazonas, Río Orinoco at Paso Ganado, 38 km NNW of San Fernando de Atabapo, 04.3842°, -067.7747° (Holotype). 
12cm. (4¾ins)
23-27°c (73-81°f.)
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                                                                                                          Factsheet 242 = updated October 20, 2004, © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top