Welcome to the wonderful world of Loricariid catfish !
with special emphasis on the wood-eating genus Panaque
Pictures & data by Jay Nelson, Don Stewart (SUNY-Syracuse) and Hirofumi Nonogaki (Center for Marine Biotechnology, Baltimore)
Why study Loricariids ?
- With 70 genera and ~ 800-1000 species, Loricariidae is one of the most speciose families of freshwater fish & the most speciose Siluriiform family
- An evolutionary success of this magnitude begs an explanation, however the ecology and physiology of Loricariids are virtually unknown
- This evolutionary success has occurred while exploiting primarily low trophic levels (i.e. carnivory is almost absent in Loricariids) and is therefore unusual
- Below is a link to a pic of a generalized Loricariid:
Stop # 1, the mouth:
This is what the mouth of a Panaque looks like: this happens to be an undescribed species.
Here we see what the whole fish looks like: