Common name: a bristlenosed catfish
Synonyms and Other Names: antenna armored catfish, bristlenosed catfish
Identification: The genus Ancistrus contains about 50 or more described species (Burgess 1989; Armbruster 1997). Members of this genus exhibit marked sexual dimorphism (Ferraris 1991), with males having bristles or antlers on the head. Burgess (1989) and Armbruster (1997) gave distinguishing characteristics of the genus and a key to loricariid genera; Burgess (1989) also provided key to selected species. Photographs were given in Burgess (1989) and Ferraris (1991).
Size: 15 cm (Burgess 1989).
Native Range: Tropical America. Central and South America (Armbruster 1997).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
A member of this genus was first encountered in small numbers in the Nuuanu #3 Reservoir in Oahu, Hawaii, in 1984; it is now abundant in that reservoir and in many other Oahu reservoirs and streams (Devick 1991; Sabaj and Englund 1999). An unidentified Ancistrus has been reported from Wahiawa Reservoir in Oahu since about 1987 (Devick 1988) and also was collected from Manoa Stream, Oahu, in 1989 (museum specimens). Established in Oahu (Mundy 2005).
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Ancistrus cf. temminckii are found here.
Table last updated 2/27/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Bristlenosed catfish, like many other loricariid catfishes, are benthic fishes that primarily consume algae and detritus (Burgess 1989).
Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.
Status: Established on island of Oahu, Hawaii (Devick 1991).
Impact of Introduction: Unknown. Introduced Ancistrus in Hawaiian streams may compete with native stream gobies for food and space (Sabaj and Englund 1999).
References: (click for full references)
Armbruster, J.W. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships of the sucker-mouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) with particular emphasis on the Ancistrinae, Hypostominae, and Neoplecostominae. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL.
Burgess, W. E. 1989. An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes: a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.
Devick, W. S. 1988. Disturbances and fluctuations in the Wahiawa Reservoir ecosystem. Project F-14-R-12, Job 4, Study I. Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Devick, W. S. 1991. Patterns of introductions of aquatic organisms to Hawaiian freshwater habitats. Pages 189-213 in New directions in research, management and conservation of Hawaiian freshwater stream ecosystems. Proceedings of the 1990 symposium on freshwater stream biology and fisheries management, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Ferraris, C. J., Jr. 1991. Catfish in the aquarium. Tetra Press, Morris Plains, NJ.
Sabaj, M.H. and R.A. Englund. 1999. Preliminary identification and current distributions of two suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) introduced into O'ahu streams. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 59:50-55.
Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 8/30/2019
Peer Review Date: 4/30/2013
Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2023, Ancistrus cf. temminckii: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=760, Revision Date: 8/30/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/30/2013, Access Date: 3/28/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.