Zebra Pleco – Ultimate Guide & Habitat Tips

Zebra Pleco

Zebra Pleco is a type of catfish that can only be found in a small part of the Rio Xingu River in Brazil.

It was first discovered in 1991 and got its name due to the black and white stripes that resemble a zebra.

The zebra pleco was transported from Brazil for the purpose of being sold as an aquarium fish.

The Brazilian government currently prohibits the export of specific fish species, including zebra pleco.

The Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River has caused a significant reduction in water flow, posing a threat to the zebra pleco species.

As a result, these fish has been classified as critically endangered and is at risk of extinction in the wild.

To help save the zebra plecos, there are special programs where people breed the fish in captivity to sell for aquariums.

Zebra Pleco Interesting Facts

  • Zebra pleco is a small catfish species from Brazil known for its black and white stripes that resemble a zebra.
  • This fish was first described in 1991 and can grow up to 7 centimeters in length.
  • The Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River with severely reduced water flow is putting the zebra pleco at risk of extinction in the wild. Captive breeding programs are currently being run to help save this species.
  • Male zebra plecos have wider heads and longer interopercular spines than females, and they guard their eggs after spawning until their fry are ready to swim independently.

Zebra Pleco Habitat

Zebra pleco is a freshwater fish that lives in the Xingu River basin of Brazil.

It prefers to live near the bottom of the water. This fish prefers water temperatures between 73°F to 79°F (23°C to 26°C).

Water Temperature:73°F to 79°F (23°C to 26°C)
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Zebra Pleco Physical Characteristics

Size: 2.8 inches (7.0 centimeters)

The largest size a male zebra pleco can grow to is 7.0 cm (2.8 inches) in total length.

The maximum weight recorded for this fish is 3.99 grams (0.14 ounces).

Male zebra plecos have bigger heads and longer spines than females.

They have 1 dorsal spine (spike on the back), 7 soft rays on the dorsal fin (flexible parts of the dorsal fin), 1 anal spine (spike near the bottom fin), and 4 soft rays on the anal fin (flexible parts of the bottom fin).

Zebra Pleco Reproduction

During breeding, the female zebra pleco lays eggs in hidden spots, like caves. The male fish guards the eggs until they hatch.

The baby fish starts swimming after a week and develop completely in two weeks.

Zebra Pleco Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Hypancistrus zebra
Also Known As:Zebra Pleco
Conservation Status:Critically Endangered

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