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Another pleco described as a new species: Panaqolus tankei

By Leonard Ho - Posted Nov 14, 2016 09:00 AM
L398 is now officially recognized as Panaqolus tankei. We are witnessing a golden era in fish taxonomy thanks to technology, modern research techniques, and the cooperation between aquarists and the scientific community.
Another pleco described as a new species: Panaqolus tankei

Panaqolus tankei from the region of Vitória do Xingu (live aquarium specimen; photo by R. Heidemann

Panaqolus tankei is the twelve species in the relatively new genus.  Panaqolus was established in 2001 when it was split from the genus Panaque.  Panaqolus is comprised of dwarf Loricariids; P.tankei grows to only about 7cm (3 inches) in length.

The species is only known from the lower Xingu River, downstream Belo Monte Waterfalls (Amazon, Brazil). Panaqolus tankei are usually found on fallen trees and sunken wood alongside the riverbank, in depths varying from 1 to 10 m.


Panaqolus tankei in its natural habitat.

Researchers named the new pleco species for the German aquarist, Andreas Tanke, an avid researcher and breeder of the genus Panaqolus.  Tanke is likely to have been the first to successfully captive-breed P.tankei.  The authors of the paper credits Tanke "for his (successful) efforts to improve communications between aquarists and scientists to join their forces in an era of less and less money for research and an ever accelerating destruction of natural habitats."  More and more, we are seeing aquarists playing a major role in scientific research.

Panaqolus tankei is described in PLOS ONE.


Juvenile Panaqolus tankei.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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