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Pleco L025 has been formally described as Pseudacanthicus pirarara

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 25, 2016 09:00 AM
One of the most sought-after plecos, previously known as the the cactus pleco, scarlet pleco, or simply as L025 now has a formal identification. This Brazilian beauty is Pseudacanthicus pirarara.

Pseudacanthicus pirarara. Photos via the Siluro especies database

Pseudacanthicussp. L025* is now described as the new species Pseudacanthicus pirarara in the Journal of Fish Biology. (*Undescribed plecos are identified using the "L" numbering system).

The most defining quality of Pseudacanthicus pirarara is its common namesake: the scarlet (to orange-red) leading edges on all its fins (most notable on its front dorsal and caudal fins).  This is an impressively large and muscular Loricariid, achieving mature lengths in excess of 45cm (17.7 inches). It is found from the fast-flowing drainage of Rio Xingu and Rio Iriri, Brazil.

We've seen fishkeepers' accounts about L025 dating back to circa 2010.  To no one's surprise, fishkeepers were instantly struck by its beauty, so it commands prices in the hundreds of dollars (that is, if you can find one for sale).  In aquariums, it reportedly prefers well-oxygenated, clean waters, which mirror its natural habitat.  Pseudacanthicus pirarara is primarily carnivorous and said to have a ravenous appetite. It goes without saying that this species requires a very large aquarium.

Pseudacanthicus pirarara.  Photo by Enrico Richter
Pseudacanthicus pirarara. Photo by Enrico Richter

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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