Pseudohemiodon apithanos

Photo: Enrico Richter


Whiptail Catfish (Loricariinae) don’t usually have the same colours and striking patterns to show off as many l-numbers, but P.apithanos is definitely an exception! A spectacular pattern of black against a white body can even be changed by the will of the fish, earning it the nickname Chameleon Whiptail. When it’s calm and settled, a black stripe runs along it’s head between it’s eyes, and another black band crosses it’s back, making almost a T-like pattern. These fish are often in poor condition when they arrive in the trade, and requires some time of TLC. Tank-bred specimens are rarely on offer, and the spices is very costly.


Name: Pseudohemiodon apithanos (Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1978)

Trade names: Chameleon Whiptail

Origin: Rio Napo, Rio Conejo, Ecuador. Rio Itaya, Peru.

Maximum size: 18 cm / 7”

This is a typical sand-dweller that should be given open space on the bottom of your tank. They are very peaceful, and should not be kept with boisterous and oppressing species that outcompete them for food. They prefer meaty foods, abut should be fed a varied diet of quality dried foods and frozen foods. The cool thing about them is that the males are mouth brooders, so the eggs are cared for by the male who keeps them right underneath his head and torso.

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