Common name: suckermouth catfish
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Schaefer (1997) revised the group and recognized 13 species in the genus Otocinclus; he also provided identification keys along with photographs and illustrations. For color photographs see Sands (1984), Burgess (1989), and Ferraris (1991). Similar species include members of the loricariid genera Microlepidogaster, Parotocinclus, Pseudotocinclus, and Schizolecis (Schaefer 1997), and to a lesser extent Hypoptopoma.
Size: about 4.5 cm SL.
Native Range: Tropical America. South America including the Amazon, Orinoco, La Plata-Parana, and Sao Francisco river basins, and also coastal drainages of southeastern Brazil (Schaefer 1997).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
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 Otocinclus sp. are found here.
Table last updated 11/29/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: Probable escape from local fish farm (Zuckerman and Behnke 1986).
Status: Reported from Colorado.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
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.
Ferraris, C. J., Jr. 1991. Catfish in the aquarium. Tetra Press, Morris Plains, NJ.
Zuckerman, L. D., and R. J. Behnke. 1986. Introduced fishes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Pages 435-452 in R. H. Stroud, editor. Fish culture in fisheries management. Proceedings of a symposium on the role of fish culture in fisheries management at Lake Ozark, MO, March 31-April 3, 1985. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller
Revision Date: 5/9/2019
Peer Review Date: 12/5/2003
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2023, Otocinclus sp. Cope, 1871: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=764, Revision Date: 5/9/2019, Peer Review Date: 12/5/2003, Access Date: 11/29/2023
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.