Ancistomus sabaji L075

Photo: Enrico Richter


Put your Peckoltia in a stretcher and you’ve got Ancistomus! Well, maybe it’s not that simple, but it’s not far from the truth. A.sabaji is the most common and best known representative of it’s genus, and with it’s lovely pattern of black dots in various sizes against a pale gold/orange background, it’s not strange at all. It’s also easy to keep and moves around in your tank even during the day, so this is a real crowdpleaser among the l-numbers!


Name: Ancistomus sabaji (Armbruster, 2003)

Trade names: L75, L124, L301

Origin: Rio do Pará, Rio Tapajos, Rio Tocantins, Rio Xingu, Brazil (L75). Rio Orinoco, Venezuela (L124). Rio Rupununi, Guyana (L301).

Maximum size: 25 cm / 10”

This species has an incredible distribution range, as forms of it are found in Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. The forms differ only slightly in their appearance, and as far as I know there hasn’t been studies made to find out how closely related they actually are. Nonetheless, the populations should obviously be kept apart in a captive environment.  It goes under the names Hemiancistrus and Peckoltia too, depending on who you follow.

In aquarium A.sabaji is an easy to keep omnivore, that should be kept under normal good conditions with slightly warmer than usual (for community tanks at least) water. It requires some space, as it’s not among the smallest of the l-numbers. As they age, the spots on their bodies become gradually smaller. Adult males are territorial towards each other, and an be told apart from the females by their bigger, broader head and more excessive odontodal growth.

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