The Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cirrhosus) is a freshwater fish in the Loricariidae family. It is also known as the Bushynose Catfish.
The Bristlenose Catfish has an armour-plated body – it is covered with bony plates. It has a suckermouth and a flattened, wide head. The male has fleshy tentacles, similar to spines, on his head. The female has much smaller tentacles on her nose. It can be brown, grey, grey, golden, or albino, with tiny white or yellowish spots.
It measures about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long.
The Bristlenose Catfish is found in the Amazon river basin of South America, and also in Panama. It prefers rapid-flowing freshwater. It is benthic – a bottom dwelling fish, living on the bottom of the river.
It is nocturnal, active at night. It is herbivorous, eating alage. The male is territorial, guarding his territory from other fish.
It breeds in hollows and caves. The male makes the nest, and the female inspects it. The female Bristlenose lays 20-200 eggs. The male looks after the eggs, which hatch after 4-10 days. The babies, called fry, remain in the cave, attaching themselves to the walls and ceiling with their mouths. After 2-4 days, they become free swimming and move out of the cave.
It has a lifespan of about 5 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM