Hypostomus punctatus

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Hypostomus punctatus
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Loricariidae
Genus: Hypostomus
Species: H. punctatus
Binomial name
Hypostomus punctatus
(Valenciennes, 1840)

The suckermouthed catfish (Hypostomus punctatus) is a tropical fish belonging to the armored suckermouth catfish family (Loricariidae). Hypostomus punctatus is a freshwater fish native to South America, in the coastal drainages of southeastern Brazil and Uruguay. It is one of a number of species commonly referred to as 'plecostomus' or 'common pleco' by aquarists.


Suckermouthed catfish is a species of Loricariidae. Like other members of this family, it has a suckermouth, armor plates, strong dorsal and pectoral fin spines, and the omega iris. These fish grow to about 30 centimetres (12 in) TL.[1]

Hypostomus punctatus is difficult to distinguish from closely related species, such as Hypostomus plecostomus. Identification is relatively difficult as there are many different similar species labelled as common pleco. This species has a light brown coloration with a pattern of darker brown spots (the last part of its scientific name, punctatus, means "spotted"). Because of this, the species may also be known as the spotted hypostomus. There is no striping pattern. Also, they are lighter than H. plecostomus.[2]

Habitat and ecology[edit]

It is found in the wild in fast-flowing rivers as well as in flooded areas. This stream-dweller's preferred water temperature is 22–28°C, pH range is 5–8, and dH range 0.5–25.[1] The suckermouthed catfish is mainly herbivorous and feeds on algae, detritus as well as plants and roots.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Hypostomus punctatus" in FishBase. December 2011 version.
  2. ^ "PlanetCatfish::Catfish of the Month::July 1998". PlanetCatfish.com. 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2007-05-18.