Pleco Catfish Hypostomus plecostomus, Pterygoplichthys etc.

Pleco
Pleco
Pleco
Several similar-shaped catfish are called "plecos" though they are in different genera. They are named after the Common Pleco, Hypostomus plecostomus. Most are cryptically-patterned (for camouflage), armoured, medium-sized catfish, all native to the Americas.
Bristle-nosed Pleco
Suckermouth Pleco
Suckermouth Pleco
All have the underside suckermouth.
Common Pleco? This may be a Common Pleco, Hypostomus plecostomus, after which all the others are named. Its colour and spots vary from light to dark. It is native to the Orinoco basin and grows to 25cm long.
Amazon Sailfin Despite the scientific name Pterygoplichthys pardalis, the name "Leopard Sailfin" is usually given to the Spotted Sailfin or Gibbiceps; the one above is usually called the Amazon Sailfin, although most plecos are spotted and native to the Amazon.
Sultan Pleco? This grey, spotted fish may be the Sultan Pleco, L264, Leporacanthicus joselimai native to clear waters of Brazil's Tapajos river. Or it may be another grey, spotted pleco.
Megalancistrus parana Parana Pleco?, L113, Megalancistrus parana of Parana River, Argentina, grows over 50cm. (Similar to Dragon Hi Fin, L234, of Sao Francisco river, Brazil, but darker with lower dorsal fin.)
Spotted sailfin Juvenile Spotted Sailfin. Juveniles usually have larger spots.
Pleco This may be a Gibbiceps - see separate page.
There are hundreds of species of "pleco-type" catfish, including many known but still undescribed. Many look similar. Some appear on other pages of the site.