Leporacanthicus heterodon

Photo: Enrico Richter


Another species from the rapids of the endangered Xingu region in Brazil is the Golden Vampire Pleco. It’s a rare enconter in the wild, and certainly no less so in captivity. We are very happy to have this species here, and hopefully we will be able to breed them too. It’s a beautiful fish with it’s pale gold body covered in big black dots, and when settled it’s tough and quite easy to maintain.


Name: Leporacanthicus heterodon (Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1989)

Trade names: Golden Vampire Pleco

Origin: Rio Xingu, Rio Iriri, Brazil

Maximum TL: 22 cm / 9”

This is the smallest of the Leporacanthicus species. It also has the smallest egg clutches (up to 40 or so). Contrary to the belief of many, it has no L-number although many call them L172a. L172 is a very different fish, a phantom that hasn’t been seen since it’s initial presentation in 1994. The nickname of L.heterodon is based on the dentition, the two striking teeth in the upper jaw is typical for the genus. L.heterodon is a meat eater, and should be given high quality dry foods together with shrimp and musselmeat. Prime water quality is essential, so provide good filtration, frequent water changes and warm, slightly acidic conditions. It’s a shy species, so it must be given many places to hide to feel secure. Males have a longer, broader head and a more contrast rich colouration. The eggs are laid in  narrow caves and are guarded by the male.

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