Photo: Mark Sabaj Perez
PSEUDOLITHOXUS TIGRIS L257
L257 is the most sought-after flyer Cat, due to it’s great looking Tiger pattern and it’s small adult size. In recent years it has become more available in the trade, but it’s still considered a rariety, and they still haven’t been bred in captivity. As an aquarium fish it’s a bit more delicate and challenging than the better known Hypancistrus, Peckoltia, Panaqolus and Ancistrus species. Flyer Cats need a good current, lots of oxygen, clean water and the right kind of food to thrive. They are also notoriously shy, taking much time to adapt enough to new surroundings to come out and forage during the day. Their nickname obviously refers to the extremely long pectoral fins of Pseudolithoxus species, which gives them a different and appealing exterior.
Name: Pseudolithoxus tigris (Armbruster & Provenzano, 2000)
Trade names: L257, Tiger Flyer Cat
Origin: Rio Atabapo, Rio Ventuari and surrounding areas in Orinoco, Venezuela.
Maximum TL: 12 cm / 5”
Flyer Cats need a good amount of hiding places among flat stones arranged to make crevices. They prefer fast flowing, acidic water with lots of oxygen and high temperatures. Obviously, good water hygiene is essential. Typical nocturnal creatures, they will rarely venture out from their caves during daytime, but after some period of settling in they may make strides to grab some food before returning to their shelters again. Food should be varied, but high quality dry foods, insect larvae, crustaceans and some vegetable matter should be the main menu. Too much protein rich food is not good for them. Breeding Flyer Cats is rare, but P.dumus has at least been bred in Germany. The male preferred a cave with opening in both ends. Even though males have more prolonged odontodes on their pectoral fins, even females show a significant odontodal growth. On the tip of their snout the males develop very short odontodes.
P.tigris is quite unmistakable in it’s appearance, and only P.kelsorum (L189) resembles it slightly. L189 does however have broader bands.