P. weberi are unique among hypostomines in
having a medially divided buccal papilla. The two
species can be separated from one another by colour
(small spots in P. punctatus, large in P.
weberi), conditionof the buccal papilla (deeply
divided at all ages in P. punctatus vs.shallowly
divided in adults of P. weberi), condition
of the lateral keel odontodes (fairly short and directed
posteriorly in P. punctatus vs.large and
directed almost laterally in P. weberi),
and body width (SL/cleithral width 3.6-4.0 in P.
punctatus vs.3.3-3.4 in P. weberi).
You can identify a Pterygoplichthys species
from Hypostomus for example due to the many
more rays in the dorsal fin, which can be up to 10
or over. They also have nasal flutes on the nose.
Habitat: Pterygoplichthys punctatus
is known from the rio Madeira drainage and the rio
Urubu of Brazil and has published, but unconfirmed
localities in the rio Purus and rio Tocantins basin,
and P. weberi is known from the Río
Marañon, Río Ucayali, and upper Río
Amazonas drainages of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
peaceful if large species which will need a good sized
aquarium starting of with a 3 footer when small with
good external filtration to facilitate a good oxygen
content, as it excretes copious amounts of waste if
fed properly on vegetable matter. If the water quality
is not adhered to, small holes can appear in the fin
membranes. You will notice when your water quality
is not up to the mark as they "hang" in
the water just of their fins, from the substrate,
which means 'get that water change done'. It is kind
to plants in the aquarium, the only problem is when
it gets bigger and can uproot them in its conquest
around the tank. Diet: They are
mostly vegetarian with algae being their number one
source of food but to keep a large fish fed on algae
alone is impossible so you can feed also, spinach,
blanched lettuce, cucumber, courgette (zucchini) and
also non veg food such as tablets and prawns.
Río Marañon, Río Ucayali, and
upper Río Amazonas drainages of Colombia, Ecuador,
Armbruster, J.W. and
L.M. Page, 2006.
Redescription of Pterygoplichthys punctatus and description
of a new species of Pterygoplichthys (Siluriformes:
Loricariidae). Neotrop. Ichthyol. 4(4):401-409. Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature guide
to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p.