Understanding Pleco L-numbers and Complete L-number: Reference List (Part 1. L001 - L100)

Understanding Pleco L-numbers and Complete L-number: Reference List (Part 1. L001 - L100)

Post in: Aquarium Hobbyist Blog / Freshwater Aquarium Blog / - by - Dec 12, 2017
Understanding Pleco L-numbers and Complete L-number: Reference List
Most aquarium hobbyists are familiar with the two-part scientific naming system that has been in use since the 1700's. That two-part system is comprised of the Genus and species, which hasn't really changed much since its inception. The process of assigning a species a new name or classifying it within an already described species can take time and sometimes be a confusing process. It must be determined if it is a new species? Is it a different life stage of species X? What about geographical variations? Or natural variations? Or genetic mutations?
This delay in assigning Scientific name:s became a problem for the aquarium hobby as collectors were discovering catfish from the Loricariidae family, commonly known as Plecos, faster than they could be fully researched and assigned Scientific name:s. When the aquarium industry started blooming in the late 20th century, Pleco fish were entering the trade en masse without a two-part “Genus species” name that so many are accustomed too. The same fish would be called something different by every collector, distributor, aquarium store and hobbyist that encountered it, which led to a significant amount of confusion.
Then, in the 1980’s, a fish importer and a German magazine editor from “Die Aquarien und Terrarienzeitschrift” (The Aquarium and Terrarium Magazine) came up with a solution. They designed a numbering system for the unknown fish, starting with L001 – “L” standing for Loricariidae, and began assigning a new number (L002, L003, etc) to each undescribed fish. Once the official Scientific name: is created, the old L-number: is “retired” (although many can still be found in use in older publications and among hobbyists).
The system has its pro’s and con’s. It is not a scientific classification or naming system, despite its popularity in the hobby and even some influence into the scientific community. The current L-number: listing is well over L400 and some numbers have eventually been found to describe the same fish and are then combined under one L-number:.
Some fish from different areas also have different L-number:s for the different regions. It does, however, give us a reference for fish that may be otherwise nameless except for common names created by distributors and store owners. Like the Latin naming system that has been around since Linnaeus, it lets people cross borders and language barriers in one common way to share and discuss these popular freshwater fish.
Complete L-number: Reference ListL-number: L001
Common name(s): Gold Spot Pleco, Marbled Sailfin Pleco
Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys joselimaianus
Distribution: South America: Tocantins River basin.
L-number: L002
Common name(s): Tiger Peckoltia
Scientific name: Panaque sp.
Distribution: South America: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L003
Common name(s): Kieser Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L004
Common name(s): Angelicus Pleco, Zebra Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins at Cametá
L-number: L005
Common name(s): Angelicus Pleco, Zebra Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins at Cametá
L-number: L006
Common name(s): Brown Dot Peckoltia
Scientific name: Hemiancistrus oligospilus
Distribution: Tocantins and Capim river drainages, lower Amazon River basin, eastern Brazil.
L-number: L007
Common name(s): Galaxy Pleco, Tusken Pleco, Vampire Pleco
Scientific name: Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias
Distribution: Brazil, Parà, Rio Guamà
L-number: L008
Common name(s): Leopard Peckoltia
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio do Pará at Oeiras do Pará
L-number: L009
Common name(s): Smoky Peckoltia
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio do Pará at Oeiras do Pará
L-number: L010
Common name(s): L010 Pleco
Scientific name: Loricaria birindelii
Distribution: South America: Brazil, Pará, Altamira Municipality, Rio Curuá, Iriri-Xingu drainage, near town of Castelo dos Sonhos
L-number: L010a
Common name(s): Red Lizard Catfish, Red Whiptail Catfish
Scientific name: Rineloricaria sp.
Distribution: Selective breeding
L-number: L011
Common name(s): L011 Pleco, Red Fin Thresher Pleco, Thresher PLeco, L108 Pleco, L116 Pleco
Scientific name: Squaliforma emarginata
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Xingú at Altamira
L-number: L012
Common name(s): L012 Pleco, L013 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistomus feldbergae
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L013
Common name(s): L012 Pleco, L013 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistomus feldbergae
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L014
Common name(s): Sunshine Pleco, Goldie Pleco
Scientific name: Scobinancistrus aureatus
Distribution: Rio Xingú, Brazil
L-number: L015
Common name(s): Candy Striped Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia vittata
Distribution: South America: Amazonas Basin, Middle and Lower Amazonas Basin.
L-number: L016
Common name(s): L016 Pleco, L030 Pleco, L315 Pleco
Scientific name: Spectracanthicus punctatissimus
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Xingu River basin.
L-number: L017
Common name(s): L017 Pleco
Scientific name: Hopliancistrus sp.
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L018
Common name(s): Gold Nugget Pleco, L085 Pleco, L177 Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus xanthellus
Distribution: Volta Grande do rio Xingu, immediately above Belo Monte falls, and from rio Iriri, the larger tributary of rio Xingu.
Gold Nugget Pleco (L018) ProfileL-number: L019
Common name(s): L019 Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L020
Common name(s): L020 Pleco
Scientific name: Spectracanthicus zuanoni
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingú at Altamira
L-number: L021
Common name(s): Common Pleco, Sailfin Pleco
Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys pardalis
Distribution: Widespread in the amazon river system.
L-number: L022
Common name(s): Gold Spot Common Pleco, L001 Pleco
Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys joselimaianus
Distribution: South America: Tocantins River basin.
L-number: L023
Common name(s): Common Pleco, Sailfin Pleco
Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys pardalis
Distribution: Widespread in the amazon river system.
L-number: L024
Common name(s): Red Fin Cactus Pleco, Flame Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus pitanga
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L025
Common name(s): Scarlet Cactus Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus pirarara
Distribution: Lower and Middle Rio Xingu, and its tributaries, the Rio Bacajá and Rio Iriri.
L-number: L026
Common name(s): Niveato Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus niveatus
Distribution: Tocantins, Xingu, Tapajós and Trombetas River basins, Brazil.
L-number: L027
Common name(s): Tapajos Royal Pleco, Thunder Royal Pleco
Scientific name: Panaque armbrusteri
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Tapajos river basin
L-number: L027 'XINGU'
Common name(s): Xingu Royal Pleco
Scientific name: Panaque cf. armbrusteri`xingu`
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L027A
Common name(s): Longnosed Royal Pleco, Red Fin Royal Pleco
Scientific name: Panaque cf. armbrusteri`xingu`
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L028
Common name(s): Angelicus Pleco, Portel Angelicus Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Furo Santa Maria
L-number: L029
Common name(s): Galaxy Pleco
Scientific name: Leporacanthicus galaxias
Distribution: South America: southern tributaries of the middle and lower Amazon, Madeira, Tocantins and Guamá rivers; Ventuari River basin in the upper Orinoco drainage.
L-number: L030
Common name(s): L016 Pleco, L030 Pleco, L315 Pleco
Scientific name: Spectracanthicus punctatissimus
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Xingu River basin
L-number: L031
Common name(s): Peppermint Pleco
Scientific name: Parancistrus nudiventris
Distribution: Only occurrences recorded are from Rio Xingú
L-number: L032
Common name(s): Bristlenose Catfish
Scientific name: Ancistrus aguaboensis
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L033
Common name(s): L033 Pleco
Scientific name: Lasiancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguaia
L-number: L034
Common name(s): Medusa Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus ranunculus
Distribution: South America: Xingú and Tocantins River basins
L-number: L035
Common name(s): L035 Pleco
Scientific name: Squaliforma annae
Distribution: South America: Guamá River basin. Brazil: Rio Araguaia, just upstream of confluence with the Rio Tocantins
L-number: L036
Common name(s): L036 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistomus spilomma
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguaia, just upstream of confluence with the Rio Tocantins
L-number: L037
Common name(s): Honeycomb Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus faveolus
Distribution: Upper Rio Araguaia basin, rio Tocantins basin and the upper rio Xingu basin
L-number: L038
Common name(s): L038 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: South America: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L039
Common name(s): L039 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudancistrus niger
Distribution: South America: Oyapock River basin
L-number: L040
Common name(s): L040 Pleco
Scientific name: Harttia surinamensis
Distribution: South America: Coastal rivers from Suriname River east to Approuague River
L-number: L041
Common name(s): L041 Pleco
Scientific name: Guyanancistrus brevispinis
Distribution: South America: Atlantic coastal drainages of the Guianas, from Nickerie to Oyapock River basins
L-number: L042
Common name(s): L042 Pleco
Scientific name: Hemiloricaria sp.
Distribution: Mana basin French Guyana, Eastern Suriname river French Guyana
L-number: L043
Common name(s): L043 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Mana basin, French Guyana
L-number: L044
Common name(s): L044 Pleco
Scientific name: Lithoxus planquettei
Distribution: South America: Atlantic coastal drainages from Maroni to Kaw River basins French Guiana
L-number: L045
Common name(s): L045 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Coco Creek, French Guyana, Coastal Rivers of Guyanas
L-number: L046
Common name(s): Zebra Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus zebra
Distribution: Rio Xingú, Brazil
L-number: L047
Common name(s): Magnum Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus chrysolomus
Distribution: Rio Xingu, Volta Grande do rio Xingu, Belo Monte falls & below Belo Monte village, rio Curuá, rio Iriri, the larger tributary of rio Xingu.
L-number: L048
Common name(s): Golden Cloud Pleco
Scientific name: Scobinancistrus cf. pariolispos
Distribution: Rio Xingú, Pará State, Brazil
L-number: L049
Common name(s): L049 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia multispinis
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L050
Common name(s): Spotted Humpbacked Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus cf. cochliodon
Distribution: Lower Amazon, Rio Tocantins
L-number: L051
Common name(s): Paraguay Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus latifrons
Distribution: South America: Paraguay River basin
L-number: L052
Common name(s): Flounder Pleco
Scientific name: Dekeyseria sp.
Distribution: Rio Orinoco Basin
L-number: L053
Common name(s): L053 Pleco
Scientific name: Harttia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguari
L-number: L054
Common name(s): L054 Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus sp.
Distribution: Rio Araguari, Amapá, Brazil
L-number: L055
Common name(s): L055 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguari
L-number: L056
Common name(s): L056 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Amapá, Rio Araguari
L-number: L057
Common name(s): L057 Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguari
L-number: L058
Common name(s): L058 Pleco
Scientific name: Lasiancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Araguari
L-number: L059
Common name(s): L059 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus hoplogenys
Distribution: Amazon, Essequibo and Paraguay River basins. Rio Guamá, Pará, Brazil
L-number: L060
Common name(s): L060 Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus nematopterus
Distribution: Brazil: Oyapock River basin. Rio Oiapoque, Rio Amapá
L-number: L061
Common name(s): L061 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Amapá: Rio Oiapoque
L-number: L062
Common name(s): L062 Pleco
Scientific name: Loricaria cataphracta
Distribution: Amazon River basin and coastal rivers of the Guianas
L-number: L063
Common name(s): L063 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus sp.
Distribution: Lower Amazon, Rio Tocantins
L-number: L064
Common name(s): L064 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus cf. histrix
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L065
Common name(s): Blizzard Cactus Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins, Pará
L-number: L066
Common name(s): King Tiger Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Lower Xingú or Tocantins, Pará, Brazil
L-number: L067
Common name(s): L067 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudancistrus asurini
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L068
Common name(s): L068 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrini sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Para
L-number: L069
Common name(s): L069 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrini sp.
Distribution: Brazil, Para, Rio Tapajos at Santarem
L-number: L070
Common name(s): Zombie Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Rio Tapajos, Para State, Brazil
L-number: L071
Common name(s): Peppermint Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tapajos and surrounding tributaries
L-number: L072
Common name(s): L072 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L073
Common name(s): Angelicus Pleco
Scientific name: Hypancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Portel at the Rio Do Pará, Pará
L-number: L074
Common name(s): Tiger Peckoltia
Scientific name: Panaqolus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins at Cametá
L-number: L075
Common name(s): Para Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sabaji
Distribution: Guyana, Essequibo drainage, Venezuela/Colombia, middle reaches of Orinoco drainage, northern Brazil, Rio Negro drainage and river of Para State flowing north into the Amazon downstream of the confluence with the Rio Negro.
L-number: L076
Common name(s): Orange Seam Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Para
L-number: L077
Common name(s): Rusty Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus sp.
Distribution: South America: Rio Parnaiba
L-number: L078
Common name(s): L078 Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus sp.
Distribution: Brazil, Maranhão, Rio Parnaiba drainage
L-number: L079
Common name(s): L079 Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantin
L-number: L080
Common name(s): L080 Pleco
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Tocantins and Rio Araguaia
L-number: L081
Common name(s): Gold Nugget Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil, Rio Xingu south of Altamira
L-number: L082
Common name(s): Opal Spot Pleco
Scientific name: Scobinancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Lower Amazon, Rio Xingu
L-number: L083
Common name(s): Sail Fin Pleco
Scientific name: Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps
Distribution: Widespread throughout the Peruvian & Brazilian Amazon, Rio Orinoco
L-number: L084
Common name(s): L084 Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus sp.
Distribution: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L085
Common name(s): Gold Nugget Pleco
Scientific name: Baryancistrus xanthellus
Distribution: Volta Grande do rio Xingu, Belo Monte falls, rio Iriri
L-number: L086
Common name(s): L086 Pleco
Scientific name: Spectracanthicus tocantinensis
Distribution: Rio Tocantins
L-number: L087
Common name(s): Iron-faced Pleco
Scientific name: Hypostomus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Rio Xingu
L-number: L088
Common name(s): L088 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Amazon, Solimoes, rio Negro, Lower rio Negro
L-number: L089
Common name(s): L089 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Manaus
L-number: L090
Common name(s): Papa Panaque
Scientific name: Panaque bathyphilus
Distribution: Peru: Río Ucayali drainage
L-number: L091
Common name(s): Three Beacon Pleco
Scientific name: Leporacanthicus triactis
Distribution: Venezuela: Orinoco Basin, Upper Orinoco drainage
L-number: L092
Common name(s): Woodeating Lasiancistrus
Scientific name: Lasiancistrus tentaculatus
Distribution: Orinoco River basin of Colombia and Venezuela and in the lago Valencia drainage of Venezuela
L-number: L093
Common name(s): Blue Fin Thresher Pleco
Scientific name: Squaliforma villarsi
Distribution: Venezuela
L-number: L094
Common name(s): Venezuela Aphanotorulus Pleco
Scientific name: Aphanotorulus ammophilus
Distribution: South America: Portuguesa River basin
L-number: L095
Common name(s): Orange Cheek Pinecone Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudorinelepis sp.
Distribution: Amazon: Tributaries of the Rio Negro
L-number: L096
Common name(s): Spiny Monster Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus spinosus
Distribution: South America: Amazon Basin. Orinoco Basin, Venezuela
L-number: L097
Common name(s): Polka Dot Cactus Pleco
Scientific name: Pseudacanthicus sp.
Distribution: Brazil: Santarém at the Rio Tapajós, Pará
L-number: L098
Common name(s): Zebra Pleco, L046
Scientific name: Hypancistrus zebra
Distribution: Rio Xingú, Brazil
L-number: L099
Common name(s): Orange Seam Pleco, L076
Scientific name: Peckoltia sp.
Distribution: Amazon: Rio Para, Lower Amazon, Rio Tocantins, Lower Tocantins
L-number: L100
Common name(s): L100 Pleco
Scientific name: Ancistrus sp.
Distribution: Brazil, Pará, Rio Xingú (Altamira)
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Rodney
This will be really helpful once complete. I can never remember which Pleco is which and always need to look it up. I like how this is laid out. Any ETA on L100-L400?
AD Admin
Hey Rodney! Thanks for checking out the Pleco L-Number blog. We will be updating the blog continuously until we have from L001 - L600 and beyond as they are discovered. We will update the top line of the blog to show the status and hopefully have it all done over the next few weeks!
Daryl Dawkins
Thanks for making this list, I will use this for sure when it is complete. I can never remember which Pleco is which when stores use the L number on the tanks.

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