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Family: Loricariidae, Subfamily Ancistrinae

Common Name: L199 Pleco, Striped Pleco

Origin and Habitat: 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.

Striped Plecostomus L199 Diet

Examination of the stomach contents 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

Water parameters for Striped Plecostomus L199

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


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

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).

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 the subject genus. There are currently six described species in Hypancistrus which was erected in 1991 by I.J.H. Isbrucker and H. Nijssen upon describing H. zebra, the type specimen. The genus name derives from the Greek hypo [= under] and agkistron [= hook]; ancistrus is in reference to the interopercular odontodes that are hooked [source: Fishbase and Planet Catfish]. 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].

The subject species, L199, was described by J.W. Armbruster, N.K. Lujan and D.C. Taphorn (2007). The species epithet furunculus 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.


Armbruster, J.W., N.K. Lujan and D.C. Taphorn (2007), "Four new Hypancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Amazonas, Venezuela," Copeia 2007 (no. 1), pp. 62-79.

Isbrucker, I.J.H. and H. Nijssen (1991), "Hypancistrus zebra, a new genus and species of uniquely pigmented ancistrine loricariid fish from the Rio Xingu, Brazil (Pisces: Siluriformes: Loricariidae)," Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters volume 1 (no. 4), pp. 345-350.

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