Current Size: 2-3cm
The L183 Starlight Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus dolichopterus), also known as the White Seam Bristlenose Pleco, is a member of the Loricariidae family of South American suckermouth catfishes. While many suckermouth catfish species have yet to be bred on any major scale in aquariums, the Starlight Bristlenose Pleco is being propogated by a few commercial breeders. Its facial area becomes adorned with many bristle-like appendages beginning in sub-adulthood. Both sexes grow the appendages, but the growth and length is much more pronounced in males. This species is distinctly different than the many other more common bristlenose species, most of which are part of the Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus superspecies. The Starlight Bristlenose Pleco has an overall black body that is covered in bright spots and it also has a noticeable white seam on its dorsal fin and tail.
A generally peaceful and hardy species, the Starlight Bristlenose Pleco is an excellent, undemanding candidate for most aquariums. The Starlight Bristlenose Pleco grows to a size of only 10 to 15 cm. This smaller size makes for a much more manageable (and less messy) pleco that can thrive permanently in a well-maintained aquarium as small as 40 to 55 gallons. Male plecos may be somewhat territorial with other males of their species, but disputes can usually be diffused by providing ample territory and hiding places for each fish. All other tankmates will be generally ignored, although it is possible that small shrimp fry might fall prey to the Starlight Bristlenose Pleco. However, some large-scale shrimp suppliers breed Bristlenose Plecos in the same pools they use for shrimp breeding.