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Chubby Pleco L056

(Parancistrus species)




Scientific Name Parancistrus aurantiacus (Castelnau, 1855)
Common Name(s) Chubby Pleco, Rubber Pleco
Type Locality Río Ucayali, Peru.
Synonym(s) Hypostomus aurantiacus, Hypostomus nigricans, Hypostomus vicinus, Parancistrus nigricans, Parancistrus vicinus
Pronunciation parr an SIS truss – awe ran tee ak uss
Etymology (Greek)Para=The side of + (Greek)agkistron=hook.
Species Information
Size 220mm (8.7″) SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Capable of changing from a dull grey brown colouration into striking golden form. This change appears to be under the fishes control and they can be found in any state of patchwork colouration in between all gold or all grey. This is not a one way process, grey individuals have been recorded returning to gold once acclimatized by this is not the norm.
Sexing Breeding males have elongated odontodes on the pectoral fin spines.
General Remarks Fascinating to note that the fish must have been described as a golden fish given the specific name. In her review of the genus, Rapp Py-Daniel (1989) stated that the only time P. aurantiacus was collected was when the river had dried to isolated pools. She suggested that the large gill openings may be an adaptation to low oxygen levels. Rhinelepis similarly has large gill openings but also has a diverticulum hypothesized to act as an accessory respiratory system (Armbruster, 1998). Armbruster has also noted that it is possible the expanded gill openings are not associated with respiration and may be due to some other factor such as feeding.

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