Photo: Haakon Haagensen
LEPORACANTHICUS JOSELIMAI L264
Vampire Plecos are cool fish that are fairly easy to care of even for less experienced fishkeepers. They all show a pattern of spots, but they differ in colour combinations. L.joselimai is the grey one, with black dots – a very appealing look, especially with the white fin tips. Rumors say they are declining in their natural habitat, but luckily they are bred occasionally in captivity.
Name: Leporacanthicus joselimai (Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1989)
Trade names: White Tip Vampire Pleco, Sultan Pleco, L264
Origin: Rio Tapajos, Brazil
Maximum size: 20 cm / 8”
L.joselimai is very similar to L263 (which is more brown) and L314 (darker brown than L263 and without light markings in the fin tips), but these lack the prominent white fin tips in the dorsal and the caudal fin that L.joselimai has.
These fish must be kept in well filtered and clean aquariums with lots of hiding places. They are peaceful towards most other fish, but the males can be territorial and aggressive towards each other. Leopracanthicus are meat eaters, and should be fed a protein rich diet consisting of crustaceans, shrimps, mussels and fish meat. Good quality dried foods should also be offered. They are mature and ready to breed at a surprisingly young age/small size, even specimens under 10 cm have spawned in captivity! Larger specimens can produce big clutches of 150 or so eggs. Males have a lighter base colour and a more pointy head.