Hypancistrus inspector “L102, Snowball Pleco”

7. June 2024

L102 is one of the plecos that has long been known in the hobby and was given its L number back in 1992. These animals originated from the lower Rio Negro in Brazil and were soon given the popular name “Snowball Pleco” because of the large white spots on a black background. The species was scientifically described 10 years later, in 2002, based on specimens from the Rio Casiquiare, which connects the Rio Negro with the Orinoco, usually up to 15 cm, sometimes even up to 20 cm long. The locality was about 10 km upstream of the Rio Negro in Venezuela. 

There are a whole host of color variations in this Hypancistrus, even within one population. Some “inspectors” even have their own L-numbers. Nobody knows whether these are selected animals, locality variants, ecotypes or even genetically distinct species or subspecies of H. inspector. They all have the typical dark fringe along the dorsal fin.

The fact is that specimens with relatively small spots have been on the market for some time now. We are therefore delighted to have received some real “snowballs” from Brazil that really deserve this name!

You can find more information about some forms here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/10-catfishes/10b-catfishes-suckermouths-plecos-and-l-numbers/l102_hypancistrus_inspector_en/ and here https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/10-catfishes/10b-catfishes-suckermouths-plecos-and-l-numbers/l501-hypanacistrus-sp-mitu-2/

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 102-3 on our stock list and are 8-11 cm long. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer