Hemiloricaria beni

Photo: Ingo Seidel


The Dwarf Whiptail is a perfect choice even for the inexperienced Loricariinae keeper. It’s a diminutive species that will do well even in smaller aquariums, and it’s also easy to breed. As an aquarium fish this is a problem free, hardy bottom dweller that will do well in most set ups without aggressive and competitive fish. It was first introduced to the hobby in 1997, and has since been kept and bred in good numbers by German aquarists.


Name: Hemiloricaria beni (Pearson, 1924)

Trade names: Beni Whiptail, Dwarf Whiptail

Origin: Rio Beni, Rio Mamore, Bolivia.

Maximum TL: 10 cm / 4”

Hemiloricaria species are peaceful bottom dwellers that live a very sedate life. Males develop short “beard” on their cheeks. These fish should be given calm surroundings with both open sand areas and shelter under roots. Plants are also good for shelter and sometimes grazing, but they are not damaged. Food should consist of high quality dried foods, frozen insect larvae and small crustaceans. In clean, well-conditioned water they will breed in tubes that are open in both ends, where the male will guard the spawn.

H.beni can be identified by its black markings in the dorsal fin. There is even a colour variety called “Gold” on the market, which is, as the name indicated, more golden yellow.

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