THE DINOSAUR FISH FROM THE AMAZON
Hypostomus plecostomus, the suckermouth catfish or common pleco, is a tropical fish belonging to the armored catfish family (Loricariidae), named for the armor-like longitudinal rows of scutes that cover the upper parts of the head and body (the lower surface of head and abdomen is naked). Although the name Hypostomus plecostomus is often used to refer to common plecostomus sold in aquarium shops, most are actually members of other genera.
Widely-distributed in the Amazon region and has been recorded in Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, French Guiana, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Across this range it has been collected from numerous river systems, including the Ucayali, Solimões, Amazonas, Negro, Madeira, Tapajós, Tocantins, Orinoco, Approuague, and Oyapock. Feral populations also exist in several countries, including Singapore and the USA.
Most often found in the shallows of slow-moving or still waters in forested areas. It appears to favour silt-laden white water habitats, where it is typically associated with submerged tree roots or under cover of marginal vegetation.
Maximum Standard Length:
These guys tend to max out, in the average home aquarium, at between 12 and 24 inches, and some can get bigger.
Hypostomus plecostomus is named for its sucker-like mouth, which allows it to adhere to a surface, as well as to hold and rasp at food.This omnivorous species feeds on algae, aquatic plants, and small crustaceans.
BEST TIME TO FISH:
OCTOBER THROUGH MARCH
Capt Marc will take his groups during the prime fishing season and not just to fill a week, we have prime weeks reserved for the most possible productive trips to the Amazon, contact us for full details and dates. Trips fill up fast and early.
in the Rio Negro River
Going Back in Time
Given their mouth shape, plecostomus are very rarely caught on rod and reel. I’m told it tastes like lobster but then the guy that told me that had never eaten one. And, yes, this sucker is found in tons of freshwater aqauriums.
This species' native range is tropical northeastern South America; it naturally occurs in northeastern Brazil, the Guianas, and Trinidad and Tobago. Confusingly, the name Hypostomus plecostomus (or Plecostomus plecostomus) has sometimes been incorrectly used for several more-or-less similar loricariid catfishes, both in the popular and scientific literature. For example, it has sometimes been suggested that it occurs in southern Central America, but this is an entirely separate species, Hemiancistrus aspidolepis (also known under another synonym, Hypostomus panamensis).
In addition to its native range in South America, H. plecostomus has been widely introduced to several countries around the world. In the United States, it has been introduced to some regions in the South, most likely released by aquarists into the local waters. For example, they are present in a lake in the neighborhood of Hammock Trace Preserve in Melbourne, FL. In Texas, reproducing populations occur in spring-influenced habitats of the San Antonio River (Bexar County), Comal Springs (Comal County), San Marcos River (Hays County), and San Felipe Creek (Val Verde County), as well as in drainage canals in Houston.