Peckoltia braueri, photo by M.H. Sabaj
Peckoltia sp., photo by M.H. Sabaj
Peckoltia brevis, photo by M.H. Sabaj
Peckoltia bachi, photo by J.W. Armbruster
Peckoltia is the name applied to fairly generic, lower ancistrins typically with dorsal saddles and dentaries forming an angle less than 90 degrees. The only place where the saddles doesn't work is with P. bachi. Peckoltia bachi is the senior synonym of P. arenaria, P. filicaudata, and P. ucayalensis, and it is a very divergent species and is likely to represent a distinct genus. In fact, a genus has been described twice for the group: Peckoltichthys with type P. filicaudatus and most recently as Sophiancistrus with type P. ucayalensis. The identity of this group is indicative of why I take a low opinion of the taxa described in Isbrücker et al. (2001). Certainly one needs to examine types prior to describing any genera. Isbrücker et al. (2001) likely relied on my dissertation to put P. ucayalensis together with P. arenaria and to describe it as a new genus as I suggested might be a possibility. Well, I hadn't examined all the types of Peckoltia, and when I did, I discovered that P. bachi is the oldest name and that P. filicaudata, the type of Peckoltichthys, is also a synonym of P. bachi. Isbrücker (1980) had considered Peckoltichthys to be an unnecessary replacement of Peckoltia; however, Peckoltia has as its type P. vitatta. This means that Peckoltichthys is the older name and has priority over Sophiancistrus, and if P. bachi does deserve its own genus (as is likely), it would be Peckoltichthys. Certainly no good was done by describing Sophiancistrus, and an argument can be made that this has confused the taxonomy greatly. This list of problems in Isbrücker et al. (2001) is so long that most of the genera are not accepted by scientists. In fact, among the hypostomines, only Pseudolithoxus is recognized.
I have moved some species out of Peckoltia and restricted it to just the Peckoltia vittata group of Armbruster and Werneke (2005) and P. furcatum, which I still don't know what to do with. In addition P. yaravi has been moved to Neblinichthys. Many undescribed species need to be described, and I am currently revising the genus. The following is an excerpt from Armbruster (1997).
Diagnostic information for this page is in preparation.
Peckoltia are those species of ancistrin without modified teeth that have dorsal saddles and dentaries forming an angle less than 90 degrees. They typically have dorsal saddles, although such are usually absent in P. bachi and faint in P. cavatica. Spots may be present on the head, abdomen and fins, but the lateral aspect of the body does not have spots. Three predorsal plates. Abdomen usually entirely covered in small plates except in P. braueri and P. cavatica where there may be large naked areas. Five rows of plates on the caudal peduncle. The teeth are not specialized. P. bachi has the most derived appearance; the eyes are lateral and low on the head and the abdominal plates are large making it look similar to Hypoptopoma of Hypoptopomatinae.
Males have elongated odontodes on the posterolateral
Also similar to Hypancistrus, but the teeth are the same size in both jaws (vs. larger in the dentaries). Also very similar to Panaque (Panaqolus), differing by having viliform vs. spoon-shaped teeth.
I have collected Peckoltia in shallow, rocky riffles and in quieter
water where they were found hidden inside cavities in submerged logs. P. bachi were collected from submerged branches in 1 m deep water
over mud in no to moderate flow.
The Amazon, Essequibo, and Orinoco systems and coastal drainages north of the Amazon to French Guiana.
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.
Armbruster, J. W. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the suckermouth armoured catfishes (Loricariidae) with emphasis on the Hypostominae and the Ancistrinae. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. v. 141: 1-80.
Armbruster, J. W. and D. C. Werneke 2005. Peckoltia cavatica, a new loricariid catfish from Guyana and a redescription of P. braueri (Eigenmann 1912) (Siluriformes). Zootaxa No. 882: 1-14.
Isbrücker, I. J. H. 1980. Classification and catalogue of the mailed Loricariidae (Pisces, Siluriformes). Versl. Tech. Gegevens No. 22: 1-181.
Isbrücker, I. J. H., I. Seidel, J. P. Michels, E. Schraml and A. Werner. 2001. Diagnose vierzehn neuer Gattungen der Familie Loricariidae Rafinesque, 1815 (Teleostei, Ostariophysi). Datz: 17-24.