We take the opportunity of the receipt of a larger shipment of L81n and the scientific description of Baryancistrus xanthellus (L18, L81, L85, L177, see http://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/news/l18_l81_l85_l177_and_l47_described_scientifically_en/) to take a closer look on L81n, which we get from Sao Felix do Xingu, once more.
As in all ancistine catfish it is also true in L81n: the younger they are, the prettier they are. Small specimens of 4 – 7 cm total length are the most beautiful of all Baryancistrus. Regarding the spots on the body they look like L18/L81, but have much broader borders of the dorsal and the caudal fin. When the fish grow, these borders become more narrow and the spots on the body become smaller. At a total length of 8 – 12 cm, L81n look very much like L81, but in latter at that point of age the borders of the fins are already reduced in small triangles in the corners of these fins. In L81n the borders are still bright and over the full length of the fins visible.
At a total length of about 12 cm the forst specimens begin to change their coloration to the adult pattern. In adults, the basic colour is lighter, the spots much smaller, and the borders of the dorsal and caudal fin very narrow, but still visible (the latter in contrast to B. xanthellus). Our largest specimens have 18 cm and 27 cm total length and still show the borders, even though in our 27 cm specimen the edge of the dorsal is damaged and so nobody can say anything about the coloration.
All in all one can say that juveniles of L81n look very much like Baryancistrus xanthellus, whereas adults resemble much more in B. chrysolomus (L47). Thus it is very likely that L81n repesents a third, still undescribed species within Baryancistrus, as the specific differences of B. chrysolomus and B. xanthellus base mainly on differences in coloration.
In any case juveniles of L81n are among the most beautiful L-numbers at all.
For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 081N on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Baryancistrus: ancient Greek, means “heavy Ancistrus”; Ancistrus is another genus of catfish.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer