Hemiloricaria formosa

Photo: Haakon Haagensen


Whiptails are usually quite colourless and anonymous bottom dwellers trying to blend in with the sand they live on or nearby. Some however show a slightly more interesting pattern, and among them are the so called “Prachthexenwelse” mostly found in the black waters of the Rio Negro region, Brazil. H.formosa is the biggest of these, and a rariety in our hobby.


Name: Hemiloricaria formosa (Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1979)

Trade names:

Origin: Orinoco, Colombia. Rio Negro, Brazil.

Maximum TL: 16 cm / 6”

It has a quite nice pattern of dark spots all over it’s body, and a characteristic black eye spot right in front of the dorsal fin. Males develop short “beard” on thir cheeks. These fish should be given calm surroundings with both open sand areas and shelter under roots and some hardy plants that will survive in the dim environment preferred by H.formosa. Breeding is rare, and since it’s a black water species it will need nutrient-poor, acidic water to thrive enough to enter breeding mode.

Source :



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s