Bristle-nosed Catfish Ancistrus spp.

Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
The Bristle-nosed Catfish is one of many species of similar-looking, armoured catfish native to freshwater bodies from Panama through most of South America. They are called Bristlenose or Bushynose Plecos in the aquarium trade where they are sought after mainly as tank cleaners eating algae and debris.
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Only adult males have the bristle-like fleshy tentacles on the head and face after which they are named. Some females have a few small growths on the edge of the face (and nostril flaps).
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
All have bony plates (armour) on the body for protection, since catfish don't have scales, and all have the underside "sucker" mouths with velcro-like teeth which can cling to surfaces in fast-flowing currents and can rasp algae off plants, wood and rocks. Maximum (male) adult length of the larger species is only some 12-15cm.
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
There are several cryptic patterns among the different species, usually involving spots or stripes for camouflage. They are peaceful and mainly vegetarian, although some may eat small invertebrates, detritus and even bits of dead fish when cleaning their habitat.
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
Bristle-nosed Catfish
A male will guard a small recess, cave or hollow and attract one or more females to lay eggs in it; he will then guard and tend the eggs and fry until they can fend for themselves.