first came across
this species, in the flesh
so to speak, in Pier Aquatics in Wigan in the north of England,
September 2014 and was instantly engrossed by the unusual make
up of this Loricariid which resembled a creature from a prehistoric
age. This species has also thick plates and lacks an adipose
The Rhinelepis group has a total
of only nine species distributed in the Amazon, Paraná,
and Sáo Francisco basins and
some smaller, coastal streams in south eastern Brazil. The Rhinelepis
group is an assemblage of four genera of medium to large sized
species. This group is unique among Loricariids for possessing
a round (normal) iris versus a bilobed iris (although it is
often hard to see the flap in bilobed, preserved fishes). The
aforementioned Rhinelepsis group consists of
Pseudorinelepsis and Rhinelepsis and together
they form a morphological clade within the subfamily Hypostominae.
tells us that there is a split between the Amazonian genus of
remainder of the genera which occur in southeastern Brazil.
It has been noted that the gill openings of Rhinelepsis
are large which contradicts that in most Loricariids which are
very much restricted.
on head view
There are only two described species of Rhinelepsis
the other being R.
aspera. R. strigosa can be told apart from
R. aspera by having rougher scutes with odontodes.
The Rhinelepsis genus have numerous teeth which can
be as much as 96 and the stalks are long which is unusual for
large scutes, large gill openings and lacking an adipose fin.
Round (normal) iris. Head long and flat. Short fins. Dorsal 11-7,
Pectoral fin: 1-6; Ventrals, 1-5; Anal fin 6 (1 unbranched, 5
Plain charcoal grey colouration.
Nothing to suggest that there will be a
problem keeping alongside other fishes.
|Grows rather large and
can be territorial with conspecifics so would need a large
tank to accommodate them. Provide hiding places such as
large pipes. As they have a large metabolic rate, water
changes would need to be adhered to.
May not be possible as this genera migrate
to spawn, and scatter there eggs with no parental protection.
Omnivore: Vegetable foods such as courgette,
cucumber etc. Aquarium staple foods
such as tablets, pellets and frozen foods.
Greek, rhinos = nose + Greek, lepis = scale
Adipose fin: Fleshy
finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal
The paired fins just behind
Ventral fins: The
paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins.
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
Odontodes: Hair - like stuctures on the
Gills: The organs utilized to obtain
oxygen from the water.
2008. Back to Nature guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of
catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
Armbruster, J.W., 1998. Phylogenetic relationships
of the suckermouth armored catfishes of the Rhinelepis group
(Loricariidae: Hypostominae). Copeia 1998(3):620-636
Walters, Mark. Rhinelopsis 'The Pinecone
Plec' The Journal of the Catfish Study Group. Volume 15,
issue 3. September 2014.
© Steven Grant
© Allan James @