Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfishes) > Loricariidae
(Armored catfishes) > Hypostominae
Etymology: Pterygoplichthys: Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.5 - 7.8; dH range: 4 - 20; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 1672); 10°N - 1°N, 68°W - 61°W
South America: Orinoco River basin. Reported from Argentina (Ref. 9086). Introduced and have established in Taiwan, mainland USA and Hawaii (Refs. 5723, 44091, 58503).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 25 - 40 cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2059)
Occurs in streams and lakes (Ref. 44091) and in weedy, mud-bottomed canals (Ref. 5723). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Nocturnal, feeds on algae (Ref. 13371), but will also feed on worms, insect larvae, and other bottom-dwelling aquatic animals (Ref. 44091). Spawning period peaks once a year (Ref. 56986). Reproductive behavior includes digging of burrows for egg laying (Ref. 82067). May exhibit male parental care (Ref. 56986).
Parental care may be exhibited by males (Ref. 56986).
Burgess, W.E., 1989. An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p. (Ref. 6868)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02344 (0.01207 - 0.04551), b=2.90 (2.74 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.2 ±0.12 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1; Fec = 1,983).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .