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Ancistrus leoni Souza, Taphorn & Armbruster, 2019

Image contributors to this species:

Nathan Lujan (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Ancistrus leoni can be separated from all other Ancistrus in the region by having the odontodes located medially on the snout in a single, narrow column (vs. a broad triangular, curved, or rectangular area) and by having a colour pattern consisting of small white spots and well-developed dorsal saddles (vs. many smaller white or yellow spots packed more closely together or just on head, large white spots, or entirely brown sides and saddles weakly developed if present); and from all except A. macrophthalmus by having the eyes almost completely dorsally located on the head and the orbital rim the most elevated portion of head (vs. eyes slightly dorsally placed in A. lithurgicus and mostly lateral in all other species and with the medial interorbital point more dorsal than the orbital rim). The nuptial male A. leoni is the only Ancistrus we examined with a tentacle located in an area between the posteromedial and cheek sections (all other Ancistrus have the tentacles absent from an area medial to the nasal
aperture and the base of the evertible cheek odontodes). Ancistrus leoni also differs from A. macrophthalmus and A. lithurgicus by having a very light ventral surface (vs. ventral surface only slightly lighter than black sides) (Souza, LS de. et al). Aquarium Care: The Ancistrus genera make good community fish where they do not grow too big for the aquarium. Some species have different requirements in the aquarium so best to read up on the species you have whereas if they need higher oxygen requirements or not, or if they prefer cooler waters if they originate from the southern parts of South America against the species from further up north. Diet: Vegetable foods such as cucumber and courgette and also tablet and meaty foods. Breeding: Lay their eggs in caves as a cluster and the first signs of the breeding process is a few tiny fry darting around the community tank. Etomology: Named to honour our fallen colleague, Ing. RNR Oscar León Mata (1964-2018), who collected the holotype and dedicated much of his too-short life to Venezuelan ichthyology. Oscar collected the type series of this new species and was invaluable during many of the expeditions to Venezuela, which would not have succeeded without him. He is sorely missed by his family and friends (Souza, LS de. et al).

Common Name:







Venezuela: Amazonas State, Atabapo District, Río Negro, in rapids about 1 km south (downstream) of the mouth of the Casiquiare.


Holotype: 8.0cm. (3¼ins)


22-27°c (71-81°f.)




Souza, LS de; Taphorn, DC & Armbruster, JW, 2019 "Review of Ancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from the northwestern Guiana Shield, Orinoco Andes, and adjacent basins with description of six new species" (abstract) (Zootaxa, Vol. 4552 No. 1).



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