Photo: Jacqueline Bennett-Leaver
PANAQOLUS sp. L374
Panaqolus species are dwarf Panaques, to put it simple. Panaqolus sp. L374 is among the less common species of the genus in the hobby, and is currently not allowed for export from Brazil. Of all the “Tiger Panaqolus” species, Panaqolus sp. L374 is among the most desired due to it’s very contrast rich colours that stays with the fish even in adult form. In aquariums, they are fairly hardy fish once settled, and as long as they are given wood to chew on.
Name: Panaqolus sp. “L374”
Trade names: L374, Anapu Tiger Pleco
Origin: Rio Anapu, Brazil
Maximum size: 14 cm / 6”
Panaqolus species are great aquarium fish. They need shelter in the form of wood and rocks, and if they feel safe they will venture out in search of food even during daytime. They prefer a vegetarian diet, and of course wood is essential for their digestion. Some crustaceans and insect larvae can be added to their diet, but a diet consisting of too much protein and too little vegetarian food can cause trouble. They are peaceful Plecos, but males can be quarrelsome over territories and food. Panaqolus species are slightly more challenging to breed than many other popular Plecos, but it’s usually all a matter of time and patience. When they do, they breed in typical Loricariidae manner with the male guarding the brood in his cave. Usually, male Panaqolus develop quite impressive odontodal growth on their flanks and on their fins.
There are lots of similar looking Panaqolus species being exported from both Peru and Brazil. Panaqolus sp. L374 is one of the Brazilian forms, and can be confused with Panaqolus sp. L74 from Rio do Para (probably the same species but with less contrast-rich colours), Panaqolus sp. L169 from Rio Negro (which has broader lines on the head), Panaqolus sp. L271 from Rio Tapajos (which seems to have a more irregular caudal pattern and denser lines on the head), Panaqolus sp. L2 from Rio Tocantins (probably also the same species as Panaqolus sp. L374, but even this population usually looses it’s contrast-rich colouration as adult) and Panaqolus sp. L403 (in which the wormline pattern on the head reaches further towards the dorsal fin).