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Rineloricaria sp. (L010a)

very popular and common fish in the hobby and our factsheet of the month for May 2018 is the aforementioned L010a which boasts a very interesting life story.


Rineloricaria sp. (L010a)


Rineloricaria sp. (L010a)


Said to be a cross between Leliella sp."red" (which was thought to be a form of Leliella heteroptera) and Hemiloricaria lanceolata which gave us this red form. There is a train of thought that takes us back to the 1970s in the old East Germany (in Leipzig) where they say that the first juveniles appeared. Whatever the mystery this species has proved very popular and has been bred in the hobby on numerous occasions.


It's L-number is also controversial, as L010 was given out to a different species of whiptail, which is now Loricaria birindellii and later L010a was given to Rineloricaria sp.”Red”


Whether this is a Leliella or a Rineloricaria species doesn't really matter as it has been a very popular addition to the catfish hobby.



Rineloricaria sp. (L010a) - the strange feeding habits (MP4file)


Above in the movie you can see the strange feeding habits, they like to catch any morsel of food that passes by. L010a used to be very pricey when first put on sale but the asking prices now are very affordable.


This species is very variable in the red colouration. More information on this species can be found in the Catfish Atlas Volume 1 as referenced.



Characteristic whiptail shape.


Body red/brown, with matching fins.

Aquarium Care
As with all Rineloricaria provide long leaved plants or bamboo stalks for them to hang on to. A sand substrate is preferable with plants and rockwork with small pipes for spawning activities. I have found that this species, apart from resting among vegetation, tend to hang about on the substrate more than other members of this genera.



They are easy to keep and breed and do well in a community tank as long as there is species that are not too aggressive kept alongside them.



Provide caves or pipework where the females will lay their eggs. The male takes over the guarding of the eggs and they hatch, depending on water temperature, between 10 and 12 days, and will hang with a large yolk sac on to the aquarium glass. They will use up their yolk sac in about three days and then the male can then be removed. Feeding can be with Artemia nauplii and other crustacea, such as frozen Cyclops in their later stages. The frequent feeding with crustacea will enhance the red colouration of the fish. If you are thinking of spawning them, a separate tank kited out with PVC pipes (not too large) for the placement of eggs would be a better option than a community tank, although growing on a few in the main tank from youngsters would suffice as they can be difficult to sex out when young and only when they get sexually mature can you tell the sexes apart. Articles on the breeding of Rineloricaria spp. can be found in the breeding article section of ScotCat and can be viewed here and here

Sexual Differences

Difficult when young but sexually mature males take on small bristles to the cheeks and head area. The female is devoid of this and is also more rotund in the body.



Omnivore. Vegetable food such as cucumber and other various foods such as tablet, flake and frozen.

Glossary of Terms

Omnivore: Pertaining to both vegetable and flesh diet.


Rineloricaria: Rhine = file; loricara = harness.


Loricariidae.info. https://www.loricariidae.info/leliella-sp-l010a
Evers, H.-G. & I.Seidel: Mergus, Baensch Catfish Atlas Volume 1, 1st English edn., 2005. Pp.944.

Photo Credits

© Allan James @ ScotCat

Factsheet 263

Common Name:
Red Lizard Cat, L010a
10.0cm. (4ins)
22-27°c (71-81°f.)
6.5 - 7.2.
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