Often many holders of Loricariids wait in vain for a successful reproduction.
Sometimes it just does not happen. But so many have been waiting in vain because in his group there were only same-sex plecos. How can you distinguish males and females in permanent small plecos such like Hypancistrus, Peckoltia, Panaqolus, Dekeyseria, Lithoxus, Pseudolithoxus, Zonancistrus? Unfortunately, the sex-characteristics of young plecos are often not or only partially formed.
Very useful is a view from the air to the plecos:
You can see in these pictures the different body shapes:
The male has a broad head and a slender waist. In contrast, the head of the female is narrow and the waist is noticeably wider. This observation applies to many other permanent small hypostominae plecos. Examples:
However, in males, which have already been held a long time in the aquarium, it always comes before time that this may have somewhat thicker due to generous feed gifts.
Other characteristics to differentiate the sexes are:
The genital papilla
Sometimes the genital papilla of a pleco is clearly visible. The genital papilla of males is more pointed. In contrast, the genital papila of females is tubular:
Unfortunately, the genital papillae are not always readily visible.
Odontodes behind the opercular
In plecos of the same age, generally males have longer and stronger odontodes behind the opercular.
It can happen that when “disputes” between the plecos the odontodes are highly stressed and then break. Until these are grown, it may take a few weeks.
Pectoral fin spine
In plecos of the same age, generally males have strong pectoral fin spines. On the pectorals spins of males there are longer and stronger odontodes.
Odontodes on body and caudal peduncle
On the body and caudal peduncle of males (compared with age-matched females), often there are more and longer ondontodes. In some species these odontodes are only temporarily.
Only bristlenose (Ancistrus) have tentacles. Generally males have more and longer tentacles as females. Often females have only short stubs around the mouth.
Renewals of ventral fins
In some species, for example Dekeyseria and Zonancistrus, the ventral of the males are extended.
There are several characteristics where you can determine the genders of permanent small hypostominae plecos. Especially in young animals the characteristics are not yet or only partially formed. We check possible several of the above characteristics and forming an overall opinion.
A reliable determination is often, but not always possible.