Hypancistrus zebra, photo from Burgess, 1989
H. zebra Isbrücker and Nijssen, 1991
The unique color pattern is diagnostic for the
genus and is the only uniquely derived characteristic. Other characters
considered synapomorphic for Hypancistrus are: a mesial thin section of
the anterohyal, reduction of the width of the first ceratobranchial, loss
of the posterior pouch of the posterohyal, a ventrolateral ridge on the
hyomandibula, a thin metapterygoid, a ridge from the metapterygoid facet
for articulation with the lateral ethmoid to the posterior of the metapterygoid,
a longitudinal ridge laterally on the quadrate, and a reduced dentary tooth
Hypancistrus is small with bold black and white markings. The stripes are angled posterodorsally on the body and form an E on the snout. A bar between the eyes continues anteroventrally from the ventral margin of the orbit. All fins are banded. Abdomen partially plated. Caudal fin forked. Three predorsal plates. Five rows of plates on the caudal peduncle. The posterolateral plates have fairly large odontodes and may be dimorphic with males having larger ones. The jaws are of unequal size with more teeth in the upper (8-16) than the lower jaw (4-7), and the lower jaw teeth are larger (Isbrücker and Nijssen, 1991).
Breeding males have larger odontodes on the pectoral
fin spines and on the cheek (Isbrücker and Nijssen, 1991).
The unique, bold black and white striped pattern
of Hypancistrus distinguishes it from all other loricariids.
From the Rio Xingu of Brazil.
Armbruster, J.W. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of the sucker-mouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) with particular emphasis on the Ancistrinae, Hypostominae, and Neoplecostominae. Unpubl. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 409 pp.
Isbrücker, I.J.H. and H. Nijssen. 1991. Hypancistrus zebra, a new
genus and species of uniquely pigmented ancistrine loricariid fish from
the Rio Xingu, Brazil (Pisces: Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Ichthyol.
Explor. Freshwaters 1:345?350.