Maximum size : 9 cm

Queen Arabesque Plecostomus L260 - Hypancistrus sp : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Queen Arabesque Plecos (Hypancistrus sp) are a remarkable and unique species of catfish, known for their hardiness and peaceful demeanour. However, it is worth noting that males can become territorial, especially when guarding their territory against other males of the same species. To avoid conflicts, it is advisable not to keep these fish with highly aggressive bottom dwellers or other larger species, which may result in these fascinating creatures being left out during feeding time.

A strong water current is essential for Queen Arabesque Plecos, and you may often see them in the current of the filter output. To provide a suitable environment, incorporating a powerhead or two, depending on the tank size, can easily meet this requirement. However, this species can survive without them. While Queen Arabesque Plecos are generally easy to care for, providing appropriate care and maintaining the overall tank maintenance is crucial to keeping these fish happy and healthy. Proper water conditions, coupled with a balanced diet, are essential components of their overall care regimen. 

The Queen Arabesque Plecos are renowned for their black and white squiggly pattern that covers their entire body, coupled with small spots scattered over their dorsal fin and body. Interestingly, the juveniles tend to have spaced-out stripes, which become finer as they age, giving them a unique and stunning appearance that is sure to captivate any aquarium enthusiast.

Queen Arabesque Plecostomus L260 Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the genders of the Queen Arabesque Plecos is a relatively straightforward task. Once they reach sexual maturity, male specimens exhibit odontodal growths during breeding, along with a more pronounced contrast in colouring and a greater thickness of primary pectoral rays. Additionally, male individuals feature patterned bellies, while their female counterparts are characterized by a wider ventral area and entirely white bellies, coupled with a smaller overall stature.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHypancistrus sp
Year Described1998
Other NamesL260, Scribble pleco
Max Size9 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 10 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 2 - 15
TDS 18 - 269
Ideal Temperature
75 - 86
23 - 30

Natural Habitat

Queen Arabesque Plecos, indigenous to the lower Rio Tapajós River in Para state, South America, are a fascinating species of aquatic life. Their natural habitat ranges from the mouth of Santarem to the village of Pimental, as well as south of Itaituba. These creatures inhabit fast-flowing rivers adorned with pebbles and rocks with a sandy substrate. 

During daylight hours, Queen Arabesque Plecos can typically be found nestled away in caves or rock crevices, where they seek shelter and safety. Their unique natural habitat provides a perfect cover for them, where they can conceal themselves and thrive.

The fast-flowing water helps them acquire the necessary oxygen, while the rocky terrain offers ample opportunity for hiding and hunting. It is truly remarkable to see how this species has evolved and adapted to their environment, and their distinct behaviors make them a fascinating topic of discussion for anyone interested in aquatic life.

 Tapajós - Brazil
Brazil Flag


The task of successfully breeding Queen Arabesque Plecos in a home aquarium is not without its difficulties and requires careful attention to detail. To optimize the chances of successful breeding, it is advisable to provide each breeding pair with a cave, preferably made from rectangular brick, slate, or tile, as these have been shown to yield the best results. Additionally, positioning a powerhead in a manner that creates a water current across the cave entrances is essential. 

The water should be heavily oxygenated, with a slightly elevated temperature and pH level than usual. To ensure a healthy breeding environment, it is recommended to have two females for every male and to condition the fish with a protein-rich diet, as well as maintain pristine water quality before spawning.

This is crucial not only for the fish's survival but also to stimulate spawning. Regular coldwater changes also play a vital role in triggering the spawning process. Spawning takes place in the cave, and the eggs typically take around a week to hatch. The male then assumes the responsibility of guarding the fry and protecting them from other fish in the aquarium. Newly hatched brine shrimp and crushed shrimp pellets are suitable food sources for the fry, which are known to be slow growers.

Diet & feeding

To optimize the health and well-being of Queen Arabesque Plecos in a home aquarium, it is recommended to provide a diverse diet. This can be achieved by incorporating sinking dried foods, such as algae wafers and pellets, alongside frozen fare like mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworms, prawns, and shrimp.

These specimens may also accept raw potato and various vegetables, including cucumber, lettuce, and zucchini, which can offer additional nutrition and variety to their diet. By providing a varied and nutritious diet, aquarium enthusiasts can ensure the long-term health and vitality of their Queen Arabesque Plecos, enabling these creatures to thrive and flourish in captivity.

Other Plecostomus of interest