Identification: Weber (1991, 1992) assigned sailfin catfishes to three genera. Armbruster (1997), after a detailed systematic review, placed the genus Liposarcus into the synonymy of Pterygoplichthys. Weber (1992) provided a key and distinguishing characteristics and photographs of specimens; Armbruster and Page (2006) present a revised key to species in the genus Pterygoplichthys (except P. ambrosettii).
Pterygoplichthys and other suckermouth armored catfishes (family Loricariidae) can be distinguished from native North American catfishes (Ictaluridae) by the presence of flexible bony plates (absent in ictalurids) and a ventral suctorial mouth (terminal in ictalurids). Pterygoplichthys is often confused with Hypostomus: these genera can be distinguished by the number of dorsal fin rays (7-8 in Hypostomus vs. 9-14 in Pterygoplichthys).
References: (click for full references)
Armbruster, J.W., and L.M. Page. 2006. Redescription of Pterygoplichthys punctatus
and description of a new species of Pterygoplichthys
(Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Neotropical Ichthyology 4(4):401-409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252006000400003
Brean, H. 2004. Habitattitude campaign: Fish stories have bad endings. Las Vegas Review Journal. September 27, 2004.
Brean, H. 2013. Discarded, non-native fish find home in Clark County waterways. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Las Vegas, NV. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-and-west/discarded-non-native-fish-find-home-clark-county-waterways. Created on 03/17/2013. Accessed on 09/16/2013.
Capps, K.A., L.G. Nico, M. Mendoza-Carranza, W. Arévlo-Frías, A.J. Ropicki, S.A. Heilpern, and R. Rodiles-Hernández. 2011. Salinity tolerance of non-native suckermouth armoured catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) in south-eastern Mexico: implications for invasion and dispersal. Aquatic Conservtion: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21:528-540.
Champeau, T.R., P.W. Stevens, and D.A. Blewett. 2009. Comparison of fish community metrics to assess long-term changes and hurricane impacts at Peace River, Florida. Biological Sciences 72(4):289-309.
Dutka-Gianelli, J., D. Tremain, and R. Paperno. 2009. Fish assemblages in tidal and non-tidal freshwater tributaries of the Indian River Lagoon. Final report for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Project SWG06-010. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Tallahassee, FL.
Gibbs, M., T. Futral, M. Mallinger, D. Martin, and M. Ross. 2010. Disturbance of the Florida manatee by an invasive catfish. Southeastern Naturalist 9:635-648.
Idelberger, C.F., C.J. Stafford, and S.E. Erickson. 2011. Distribution and abundance of introduced fishes in Florida’s Charlotte Harbor estuary. Gulf and Caribbean Research 23:13-22.
Nico, L.G. 2010. Nocturnal and diurnal activity of armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) associated with wintering Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Neotropical Ichthyology 8(4):893-898. http://www.scielo.br/pdf/ni/v8n4/aop1610.pdf.
Nico, L.G., P.L. Butt, G.R. Johnston, H.L. Jelks, M. Kail, and S.J. Walsh. 2012. Discovery of South American suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae, Pterygoplichthys spp.) in the Santa Fe River drainage, Suwanee River basin, USA. BioInvasions Records 1(3):179-200. http://www.reabic.net/journals/bir/2012/3/BIR_2012_3_Nico_etal.pdf.
Nico, L.G., H.L. Jelks, and T. Tuten. 2009. Non-native suckermouth armored catfishes in Florida: description of nest burrows and burrow colonies with assessment of shoreline conditions. Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program Bulletin 9(1): 1-30.
Nico, L.G., W.F. Loftus, and J.P. Reid. 2009. Interactions between non-native armored suckermouth catfish (Loricariidae: Pterygoplichthys) and native Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in artesian springs. Aquatic Invasions 4(3):511-519. http://www.aquaticinvasions.net/2009/AI_2009_4_3_Nico_etal.pdf.
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.