Ancistrus dolichopterus L183

Photo: Enrico Richter


A name previously misused for the common aquarium strain Ancistrus, much because of wrong labeling in popular litterature. The real A.dolichopterus is one of the most beautiful of all Ancistrus, with it’s pitch black body covered with small white spots and a broad white seam in the dorsal- and caudalfin. The white seam fades with age, but it’s still an impressive fish – not least when we consider the fact that it can grow to over 25 cm! Too bad this rarely happens in captivity.


Name: Ancistrus dolichopterus (Kner, 1854)

Trade names: Starlight Bristlenose, Whiteseam Ancistrus, L183

Origin: Rio Negro, Brazil

Maximum TL: 25 cm / 10”

A regular export from Brazil, but still not very common in the trade. This is probably because wild imports are slightly sensitive, and often in poor condition. It’s a blackwater species, so breeding is only successful in soft, acidic water. This limits the production of the species among aquarists. Still, it’s a very productive fish under the right circumstances. It needs clean, well oxygenated water, and lots of hiding places among roots and rocks. It’s not very interested in eating vegetables and green food, possibly because algae and vegetation is not very abundand in the dark waters of it’s natural habitat. However, a varied diet is essential. It can be distinguished from other members of the genus by looking at it’s dorsal fin, which has one hard and 9 soft rays.

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