Photo: Fabian Deuschle
Ancistrus macrophthalmus can be recognized and identified by it’s flat, broad bodyshape (slightly reminiscent of A.ranunculus, L34, from Rio Xingu, Brazil) and big eyes (hence the latin name). It’s not a very common encounter in our hobby, but it’s exported from Colombia every now and then. It’s usually never traded under its correct name though, and is often wrongfully labelled A.ranunculus and A.triradiatus by exporters there. As an aquarium resident, it’s slightly more demanding to keep than many other Ancistrus species. It’s lack of striking pattern makes it a species mostly sought-after by dedicated enthusists.
Name: Ancistrus macrophthalmus (Pellegrin, 1912)
Trade names: LDA74, Big-Eyed Ancistrus
Origin: Orinoco (Rio Atabapo, Puerto Carreño), Colombia and Venezuela
Maximum TL: 12 cm / 5”
Interestingly enough, A.macrophthalmus can occur as covered in small white spots and as devoid of spots, plus anything in between. This is also known in A.ranunculus, which is represented in Rio Xingu, Brazil, by non-spotted (L34) and full spotted (L255) morphs. It’s still unclear if both spoted and non-spotted varieties of A.macrophthalmus occur together in the same habitat in the Orinoco system though.
A.macrophthalmus has been bred in captivity, but there are very few reports. It can be kept and bred under the same conditions as most other L-numbers, in clean, well-filtered water with a temperature of 25-30 C. A.macrophthalmus will do best on a varied diet, as it’s an omnivore.