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Sturisoma barbatum  (Kner,1854)

his Sturisoma species is called the Long-Nosed Whiptail as you can see in the accompanying photograph, it is in fact reminiscent of a Farlowella species being long and slender. Sturisoma barbatum can be seen often during the daylight hours as this is not quite so much a nocturnal species compared to others in this genus.

Sturisoma barbatum

Good water conditions are a priority, with a careful watch on Nitrates which in my experience Loracariids do not do well in if they get too high, so regular water changes are a must or they will succumb pretty quickly.

A good water current is called for giving a high oxygen content in a tank that is at least 3' 0" long as this species can get quite large and needs plenty of room in an under stocked tank. Due to the southern catchment area they would need to be kept at not too high a temperature.


Sturisoma barbatum  = showing nose


 Sturisoma barbatum - showing nose


Remarks: The work carried out by Covain et.al. 2015 confines the Sturisoma genera to east of the Andes (cis-Andean), and the Sturisomatichthys genera restricted to the west of the Andes (trans-Andean).

Breadth of body at at level of last anal fin ray about 4 times in the distance from the latter to the caudal fin (Regan, 1904). Pectoral fin spine extending to middle of ventral fin. Abdomen with 3 series of plates between lateral series; an anal plate bordered anteriorly by 3. Caudal fin emarginate. On adult males the sides of the head are armed with bristles.

Ground colour of head and body brownish, ventral region paler. Fins with dark spots or bars confined to the rays.

In common with the Sturisoma genus it is very peaceful so you should not mix it with any fin nipping species as the long filaments to the caudal fin can be a magnet for this behavior. Provide large flat stones or roots for this species as it likes to "sprawl" out full length so needs this priority to fulfill this entitlement.

Not yet known but is sure to be similar to Sturisoma aureum where eggs are usually placed on the glass sides of the tank where the male guards the eggs and cleans them for up to 8 days, and when released from their egg cases will be ignored by the parents. A good first food is greens and brine shrimp.

Sexual Differences

Males can be differentiated from the females as having cheek and head bristles, with the females being that bit heavier looking.


Algae and green foods are a must for the parents as well as the fry featuring lettuce, peas, cucumber and courgette (zucchini). They will also eat on occasion good quality flake food and frozen bloodworm.

Sturisoma: With a body like a sturgeon.
barbatum: Bearded, alluding to the bristles on the cheeks of adult males.

Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Catfish Association of Great Britain Volume 1
Covain, R., S. Fisch-Muller, C. Oliveira, J.H. Mol, J.I. Montoya-Burgos and S. Dray, 2015. Molecular phylogeny of the highly diversified catfish subfamily Loricariinae (Siluriformes, Loricariidae) reveals incongruences with morphological classification. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 94:492-517.

Photo Credits
 ©   Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library
Factsheet 023

Loricaria barbata, Oxyloricaria barbata.
Common Name:
Long-Nosed Whiptail 
Brazil Brazil
Paraguay Paraguay: Paraguay River basin, Rio Cajuba.
 25cm. (10¼ins)
 22-24°c (71-75°f.)
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                                                                                                                                          Factsheet 23= updated April 28, 2004 © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top