Jon Armbruster's Loricariid Home Page


Aphanotorulus ammophilus, holotype, photo by K.S. Cummings


 






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  • Welcome to my loricariid home page.  I have designed these pages to act as a means to identify the genera of the subfamilies Neoplecostominae and Hypostominae as well as an undescribed subfamily.  This encompasses a majority of the genera of Loricariidae and includes all of the genera typically sold in the aquarium trade under the name pleco or plecostomus.  The primary emphasis of these pages is on the Hypostominae (sensu Armbruster, 1997) which includes the former Ancistrinae and excludes Delturus, Hemipsilichthys, Isbrueckerichthys, Kronichthys, Pareiorhina, and Upsilodus.

    There are three different ways to search these pages.  The first is to use a key (GO TO KEY) that includes all of the pertinent genera.  Any sucker-mouth, armored catfish can be entered into the key, but members of Loricariinae and Hypoptopomatinae cannot be identified beyond subfamily. Lithogenes which appears to be an astroblepid and not a loricariid, but does possess armor plates and a sucker-mouth, is also in the key.  The second is to choose a subfamily, tribe, genus, or subgenus from the list of taxa page (GO TO LIST).  The third is to click on a genus on the phylogenetic tree (GO TO TREE).  The tree is based on Armbruster (1997) and the revisions I have made to the dataset since then.

    Nearly all of the pictures in the following pages can be clicked to view a larger version of the picture.  I have tried to eliminate all references to taxa names that have not yet been published, if some names have made it through, they cannot be considered accepted names and cannot be used.  If you have any comments or suggestions on these pages or find parts of the key to not work well, please contact me at armbrjw@mail.auburn.edu.
     




    Dekeyseria pulcher, photo by K.S. Cummings



    TAXONOMY

    Ancistrinae had been recognized as a subfamily of Loricariidae since Isbrücker (1980) based on the putatively derived presence of what were commonly called evertible interopercular spines.  I prefer to call the adaptation evertible cheek plates (loricariids do not have interopercles) with associated hypertrophied (elongated) odontodes (odontodes are the integumentary or skin teeth covering the bodies of loricariids and sometimes lengthened and thickened to form spines).  Regardless, evertible cheek plates are not restricted to Ancistrinae.  The species of Pterygoplichthys also have evertible cheek plates.  Most species of Pterygoplichthys were originally described in genera now placed in Ancistrinae, but in the last 50 years, the presence of evertible cheek plates in Pterygoplichthys has been neglected.  There are several reasons for this.  The first is that juveniles do not have well-developed cheek odontodes and juveniles are more often encountered than adults.  The second reason is that the most commonly seen species are those of the P. multiradiatus group (Liposarcus sensu Weber, 1991, 1992) which do not develop hypertrophied odontodes in the evertible cheek mass even as adults.  Regan (1904); however, noted that despite the fact that members of the P. multiradiatus group do not have hypertrophied cheek odontodes, when captured, they will evert the cheek plates with the same ability as Ancistrinae.  Despite the ability of Pterygoplichthys to evert the cheek plates, they do lack the one other characteristic that can be used to diagnose Ancistrinae, a modified sickle- or bar-shaped opercle.  What this suggests is that  Pterygoplichthys is intermediate between other Hypostominae and Ancistrinae and that Hypostominae is made paraphyletic by the continuing recognition of Ancistrinae (see phylogeny).  This paraphyly was first suggested by Schaefer (1997), but he felt he did not have sufficient evidence to alleviate the paraphyly.  I feel that the evidence now is strong and that Ancistrinae should be returned to Hypostominae and recognized as the tribe Ancistrini.  In addition, I will be describing four new tribes that will be referred to as Corymbophanes, the Rhinelepis group, Hypostomus, and the Pterygoplichthys group in these pages.  Hemipsilichthys, Isbrueckerichthys (formerly referred to as Pareiorhaphis), Kronichthys, and Pareiorhina are placed in Neoplecostominae and a new subfamily is going to be described for Delturus + Upsilodus.



     



    Peckoltia brevis, photo by K.S. Cummings



     
  • GO TO TAXA LIST
  • GO TO KEY
  • GO TO PHYLOGENY
  • RETURN TO THE AUBURN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM FISH COLLECTION
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  • If you have questions or comments, please contact me at armbrjw@mail.auburn.edu.