Dekeyseria sp. L052

Photo: Haakon Haagensen


L52 is one of the more regular l-numbers in the hobby and the trade. They are imported in great numbers from Colombia. It’s a popular fish because of the nice markings found especially in juveniles. Fairly easy to keep, small size, a decent algae eater and good looks makes it a perfect aquarium fish.


Name: Dekeyseria sp. “L52”

Trade names: Colombian Butterfly Pleco, L52

Origin: Rio Atabapo, Venezuela. Rio Orinoco, Colombia.

Maximum TL: 14 cm / 6”

It’s a continuous debate as to which genus this species belongs to, some people call them Zonancistrus, some Dekeyseria and some even Peckoltia (P.pulcher was it’s old trade name). Whatever you prefer, it’s a pretty and special species with nice markings. Compared to the similar form L168 from Rio Negro, Brazil, L52 has less contrast in it’s markings and it shows typical fear colours which L168 does not when stressed or frightened. L52 is a lot more common in the trade. They are decent algae eaters, but should be fed a varied diet featuring mostly vegetable matter. In well filtered, oxygen rich water low on nitrates they may also breed, if the water parameters aren’t too high (remember it’s a blackwater species). Males develop longer odontodes on their pectoral fins and on their cheeks.

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