Scientific Name Panaque armbrusteri
Common Names L027, Tapajos Royal Pleco
LDA077, Thunder Royal Pleco
Type Locality Tapajós River drainage, Teles Pires River, near the highway MT-416 ferry, 9°27’07″S, 56°30’46″W, Mato Grosso State, Brazil.
Pronunciation pan ah KAY. – arm brew sterr eye.
Etymology The generic epithet “panaque” is a Venezuelan common name for this fish. The specific epithet honours Jonathan W. Armbruster, ichthyologist, Associate Professor, and Curator of Fishes at the Auburn University Museum Fish Collection.
Down arrow Species Information
Size 400mm or 15.7″ SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification The genus Panaque is identified by the teeth, which are spoon-shaped. This means that the teeth are noticeably wider at the tip than at the base. Other loricariidae have teeth that are similar width all the way from one end to the other. A second distinguishing feature is the lack of a buccal papilla, which is a “flap of skin” on the inside of the mouth. See pictures in this PDF on Pterygoplichthys.
The base colouration of this fish is a brownish black with beige stripes. The eye colour is also beige. Young fish have a 1/3 clear stripe in their black/brown caudal fins that do not have any posterior edge colour. Adult fish (over 172mm SL) have teeth angles greater than 100°. Caudal fin is truncate rather than forked or lunate.
Sexing Males have heavy odontal growth on pectoral fin and long interopercular spines.
General Remarks The common name Thunder Royal Pleco comes from the English translation of a Japanese general term which refers to both lightning, the flash of light seen, as well as thunder, the sound it makes. It is reference to the lightening-like light coloured horizontal stripes seen especially in larger individuals.
Down arrow Habitat Information
Distribution South America: Brazil: Rio Tapajos river basin
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Tapajós
Temperature 23.0-27.0°C or 73.4-80.6°F