Hemiloricaria sp. Barcelos

Photo: Haakon Haagensen


Hemiloricaria sp. “Barcelos” is another member of the so-called “Prachthexenwelse”, a group of unusually nice Whiptails hailing from black water habitats in Rio Negro, Brazil and lower Orinoco, Colombia. This is an extremely rare species in the hobby, and is currently not allowed for export from Brazil. Barely any information has been published about this species, so we are hoping to learn more by observing the few specimens in our care.


Name: Hemiloricaria

Trade names: Barcelos Whiptail

Origin: Rio Negro, Brazil.

Maximum TL: 12 cm / 5”

The black caudal fin is a trait found in juveniles, who also show less striking body pattern. But as they age, the beautiful spot pattern gradually reveals itself. Males develop short “beard” on their 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 Hemiloricaria. 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. Hemiloricaria appear to be closely related to H. melini, but develops a more marbled pattern unlike the circular spots known in H. melini.

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