- Scientific name: Leporacanthicus galaxias
- Synonyms: L-029 Catfish, Galaxy Pleco
- Common name: Vampire Pleco
- Group: Catfishes
- Habitat: South America; Brazil, Amazon basin.
- Size: 25 cm
- Biotope: Inhabits the fast-flowing parts of Rio Tocantins.
- Social behavior: A relatively peaceful catfish, but males can be territorial and aggressive with each other. They can be also territorial with similar looking fish. A nocturnal species, that usually hides during the daytime.
- Diet: Omnivorous; primarily eats meaty foods, such as snails and mussels. It also requires some vegetable matter, and will usually accept dried foods too.
- Breeding: Breeding has not been successful in aquaria.
- Tank: Minimum 200 litres
- Population: 1 pair for 350 litres
- Decoration: They require many hiding places of rocks and driftwood. They need highly oxygenated water with proper water-flow, similar to their natural habitats. Use dim lighting.
- Temperature: 22-26 °C
- pH: 5.6-7
- Hardness: 1-10 NK°
- Lifespan: 15 years
Description: Leporacanthicus galaxias have dark gray to black body color, with withe or yellowish spots. As they grow the spots get smaller and more defined and the color of the spots fade to a dirty white. They have two large teeth in the upper jaw that resemble to vampire teeth, and where they get their common name. These teeth are probably used during feeding, to remove snails from their shells.
Today there are four undiscribed catfish that have similar body pattern and color as Leporacanthicus galaxias, and it is still undetermined that these are geographical forms or different species. They are all known as Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias and so are best referred to by their L numbers. The L-007 have larger spots on their body, and are originated from Brazil, but it might be that these are only juvenile colorations of Leporacanthicus galaxias. L-007 also have shorter nose and bigger dorsal fin. Both L240 and L241 have more flattened profile, and both of them are originated from Venezuela. The fourth fish is L-294, which is also comes from Brazil, but very little other information is available.
Mature males have longer and broader head with small odontodes on the sides which the females usually lack. Males also have bigger dorsal fin and more numerous odontotes on pectoral fin spine and on the whole body. In their natural habitat males dig tunnels on the river banks to spawn just below the waterline. In the aquarium - probably due to its special needs - Leporacanthicus galaxias has not been bred.
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