Rubber Nose Pleco
Due to strict export regulations, the Rubber lipped pleco is virtually non-present in the international aquarium trade. Its scientific name is Chaetostoma sp. aff. milesi . The Rubber nose pleco is also known as Rubbernose pleco and Bulldog pleco.
The Rubber nose pleco can reach a length of 13 cm (5.1 inches). Identifying the members of the genus Chaetostoma can be tricky, but most of the species have so called interopercular odontodes which are spines located behind the gill-cover. They are also without any abdominal plates and only Chaetostoma platyrhynchus have plates on the edge of the snout. Chaetostoma species are sometimes confused with members of the genus Ancistrus, but the Ancistrus catfish is equipped with fleshy tentacles on the snout.
Geographical distribution, habitat and care
The Rubber nose pleco is a South American fish native to Venezuela . It lives in streams located at the base of the Andean mountains; streams which feed the Orinoco drainage. The Rubber nose pleco is an omnovore species. The bulk of its diet in the aquarium should consist of algae, algae based prepared food and fresh vegetables. It should also be given small occasional servings of live or frozen meaty foods. Include bogwood or similar in the setup to increase the fibre intake.
Aquarium set up
Try to resemble the natural home of the Rubber nose pleco when you set up the aquarium and include plenty of rocks, crevices and caves.
Breeding Rubber lipped pleco
There are no reports of Rubber nose pleco breeding in aquarium. Its breeding behaviour might be similar to that of the other members of the genus Chaetostoma, but more research is necessary before anyone can know for sure. The large pelvic fins seen on the male Rubber nose pleco might be important for the fertilization of the eggs since they could be used to prevent the semen from being transported away by the powerful currents before fertilization has taken place.
Sexing Chaetostoma sp. aff. milesi is not very difficult since the males have bigger pelvic fins and larger and broader heads. They are also slimmer than the females.
What's in a name?
The genus name Chaetostoma is derived from two Greek words: chaite and stome. Chaite means hair and stoma means mouth.
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