Photo: Ole Paulsen
PSEUDACANTHICUS sp. «ALENQUER»
Another one of the smaller black-with-white-pattern Cactus Plecos is the very rare P.sp.“Alenquer”. It may be a form of the same species as L97, as juveniles look identical. As they age, P.sp. “Alenquer” develops a slightly different pattern.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp. “Alenquer”
Origin: Near the town of Alenquer, Brazil.
Maximum TL: 25 cm / 10”
Cactus Plecos are among the most impressive of all Loricariidae. They grow into large, territorial feeding machines that will bring lots of joy and wonder to those who can house them. A diet consisting of meat-based foods is required, so mussels and shrimps are always desired. Additional dry foods with a good vitamin rich content should be added. The water quality must be prime, so a good filtration system, lots of oxygen and regular water changes is necessary for Cactus Plecos to thrive. Males can be very territorial. Suitable caves and territorial boundaries should be present, and tank size should not be too small. When all of the above is present, even Pseudacanthicus species can be lured to breed. Males have broader heads and slightly more prominent pectoral fin rays. Females of course show a fatter belly. Up to about 200 eggs are laid in a cave, so the process happens in typical Pleco manner with the male guarding the brood.
P.sp.“Alenquer” can be confused with several other Pseudacanthicus species. L282 from Colombia looks similar, but has whiter spots which fades away with age. P.sp. “Alenquer” looks identical to L97 when young, but develops a slightly different pattern as adult. L65 has a similar pattern too, but is usually less spotted and has more white in the caudal fin when young. L452 is also remarkably similar, but is collected far away in Rio Tapiche, Peru.