Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Pterygoplichthys pardalis is a freshwater tropical fish in the armored catfish family (Loricariidae). It is one of a number of species commonly referred to as the common pleco or "leopard pleco" by aquarists. It will grow to a maximum length of 42.3 centimetres (16.7 in) SL. Pterygoplichthys pardalis is sometimes confused with the Hypostomus plecostomus (another armored catfish known as the "common plecostomus"). The two species can be distinguished by their number of dorsal rays. P. pardalis has 11–13, while the H. plecostomus has only 5–8 dorsal rays.
P. pardalis is native to the Amazon River Basin of Brazil and Peru. Although normally a bottom-dwelling fish, they have the ability to breathe air from the surface of the water during dry periods and those in which dissolved oxygen is too low.
There is also an albino color variation of this species, usually referred to as an "Albino Plecostomus".