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Hypancistrus sp.

L136, L136a, L136b, L136c, LDA05, LDA06


Hypancistrus: from the Greek ὑπό (hypó), meaning ‘below, beneath, under’, and the generic name Ancistrus, in reference to the reduced dentition compared with the latter.


Order: Siluriformes Family: Loricariidae


L136 and its variants are collected in the rio Negro basin, Amazonas state, Brazil, and in particular the rio Demini, a northern tributary flowing into the central Negro in the municipality of Barcelos.

Collection details for LDA05 and LDA06 are currently unclear, but presumably in the vicinity.

Maximum Standard Length

80 – 90 mm.

Aquarium SizeTop ↑

An aquarium with base dimensions of 90 ∗ 30 cm should be the smallest considered.


Best maintained in an aquarium designed to simulate a flowing stream with a substrate of variably-sized rocks, sand, fine gravel, and some water-worn boulders.

This can be further furnished with driftwood branches, terracotta pipes, plant pots, etc., arranged to form a network of nooks, crannies, shaded spots, and broken lines of sight.

Like many fishes that naturally inhabit running water it is intolerant to accumulation of organic pollutants and requires spotless water in order to thrive, therefore weekly water changes of 30-50% tank volume should be considered routine. A moderate-to-high proportion of dissolved oxygen and some water movement are also appreciated, meaning power filter(s), additional powerhead(s), or airstone(s) should be employed as necessary.

Water Conditions

Temperature23 – 29 °C

pH5.0 – 7.0

Hardness18 – 215 ppm


Wild specimens are probably omnivorous but with a preference for aquatic invertebrates and other small animals.

In the aquarium it should be offered a varied diet comprising sinking dried foods, frozen Daphnia, mosquito larvae, chironomid larvae (bloodworm), and prawn/shrimp, plus some fresh fruit, parboiled potato, etc.

Home-made foods using a mixture of natural ingredients bound with gelatin are very useful since they can be tailored to contain fresh vegetables, Spirulina, etc., alongside meatier ingredients.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

A peaceful species which can be maintained in a well-chosen community, but should not be maintained alongside other Hypancistrus spp. in order to prevent hybridisation.

Sexual Dimorphism

Adult males possess a broader head plus more extensive odontodes on the leading pectoral-fin rays and interopercular region than females.

Males are also more slender and less stocky than females, a difference which is observed easily when the fish are viewed dorsally.


Cave-spawner with the male responsible for brood care. Has been bred regularly in aquaria.

NotesTop ↑

This unidentified taxon is highly variable in terms of colour pattern, and it has been assigned a series of L-numbers as a result.

The genus Hypancistrus is diagnosed from all other loricariids by a wide separation between the metapterygoid and lateral ethmoid, presence of a sharply angled adductor palatini crest of the hyomandibula, and no lateral wall in the metapterygoid channel.

More useful for aquarists is the fact that in Hypancistrus the dentary teeth are about twice as long as the premaxillary teeth (vs. dentary and premaxillary teeth of approximately equal length).

The genus is otherwise remarkable for the fact that the majority of species have not yet been described to science, although many are well-established in the aquarium hobby.  As of January 2016, there are eight described species in the genus: the type species H. zebra Isbrücker and Nijssen 1991, H. inspector Armbruster 2002, H. contradens Armbruster et al. 2007, H.debiliterra Armbruster et al. 2007, H. furunculus Armbruster et al. 2007, H. lunaorum Armbruster et al. 2007, H. margaritatus Tan & Armbruster 2016 and H. phantasma Tan & Armbruster 2016.


  1. Armbruster, J. W., 2002 - Copeia 2002(1): 86-92
    Hypancistrus inspector: a new species of suckermouth armored catfish (Loricariidae: Ancistrinae).
  2. Armbruster, J. W., N. K. Lujan and D. C. Taphorn, 2007 - Copeia 2007(1): 62-79
    Four new Hypancistrus (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Amazonas, Venezuela.
  3. Stawikowski, R., A. Werner and I. Seidel, 2004 - DATZ: 1-132
    DATZ Special: L-Numbers.
  4. Tan, M. and J. Armbruster, 2016 - ZooKeys 552: 123-135
    Two new species of spotted Hypancistrus from the Rio Negro drainage (Loricariidae, Hypostominae)
Missing information here? Our Knowledge Base is an ever-evolving work in progress, which naturally means that some species profiles contain more information than others. We're working on a daily basis to fill in all the gaps, so please have patience. This site relies heavily on the help of hundreds of people without whose valuable contributions it simply wouldn't exist. Information and photos regarding any freshwater or brackish fish species, its natural history or captive care is always much appreciated, so if you've anything you'd like to share please leave a comment below or email us.

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