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Striped Plecostomus L199

Scientific Name: Hypancistrus furunculus
Family: Loricariidae, Sub-Family Ancistrinae

About the Striped Plecostomus L199

Species Type: Freshwater Fish
Category: Catfish

Care Level: Moderate. May tolerate only a narrow range of water parameters, have specific dietary requirements including frozen or even live foods, may have behaviors that severely limit potential tankmates or may require a specialized aquarium setup.

Origin: Rio Orinoco, Venezuela. Known from the mainstream of the Orinoco and the tributary Rio Ventuari. Collected during the dry season from cracks in the bedrock with minimal water flow.

Compatibility/Temperament: Peaceful to other fish. Needs hiding places such as rock caves or bogwood.


Another striking smaller-species plecostomus, similar to the popular Zebra Plecostomus, with this one suited to the slightly larger (4-feet length) aquarium.

This is one of six currently-described species in the genus Hypancistrus that was erected in 1991 by I.J.H. Isbrucker and H. Nijssen upon describing H. zebra, the type specimen. All new loricariids are numbered "L" awaiting description, similar to the C numbers for new Corydoras [at the time of this writing, Planet Catfish lists 31 non-described "L" species in this genus]. The subject species, L199, was described by J.W. Armbruster, N.K. Lujan and D.C. Taphorn (2007).

All species within this genus are small- to medium-sized fishes that can be recognized from the very similar Peckoltia and Hemiancistrus by having larger dentary teeth than premaxillary teeth. Color is typically some combination of dark brown to black with white, ranging from stripes to spots to squiggles [Armbruster, 2007].

When purchasing specimens, look for a rounded (as opposed to sunken) belly, indicative of a healthy specimen. As noted under dietary needs, this fish is omnivorous and will eat frozen bloodworms and probably some algae or vegetable matter.

Spawning is reported to be fairly easy. Like other Hypancistrus, this one is a cave spawner; breeding males have larger odontodes on the pectoral fin spines and on the cheek (Isbrucker and Nijssen, 1991; Armbruster, 2007).

The genus name comes from the Greek hypo and ancistrus, referring to the reduced number of teeth in the lower jaw. The species name comes from the Latin for a petty thief or pilferer, and is in reference to the dark band between the eyes that is similar to a bandit's mask.

Striped Plecostomus L199 Diet

Examination of collected specimens suggest this fish is omnivorous, consuming aufwuchs (aquatic insects) and possibly green algae.


Attains just under 5 inches.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

48 inches in length

Ideal water parameters for Striped Plecostomus L199

The Rio Orinoco is soft and slightly acidic water; temperature 23-26C/73-78F.

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