There are around 50 described species of Ancistrus and an almost equal number of undescribed ones referred to by their “L” number, which is their “Loricariid number,” e.g. Ancistrus sp. Orange Spot (LI 10). For detailed information on this genus, it is therefore advisable to consult specialist literature. In all species, mature males exhibit the characteristic filament-like outgrowths of the snout—the “bristlenose”—from which one of its common names is derived.
A black background decorated with white spots helps to identify this particular loricariid. It now seems that the Peppermint Pleco ascribed the number L030 is merely the juvenile form of the variety recognized as L031, which has a finer spotted pattern
The loricariids, from South America, are a most disparate family of catfishes, in both shape and size. All exhibit an underslung sucker mouth and most are herbivorous. The mouth is used to attach themselves to solid objects to avoid being carried away in the current, as they are particularly poor swimmers. The body is encased in body plates that develop from skin folds in the early fry stage, which in later life make swimming a difficult and laborious chore.