Scarlet plec gets a name
Scarlet plec, Pseudacanthicus pirarara. Image by Julian Dignall.
One of the most desirable species among fans of big plecs has finally been given a name. The Scarlet cactus plec — or L025 — is one of the most spectacular species due to the bright orange/red edging of its fins. It reaches a length of 45cm/17.5in and is found in the lower and middle Rio Xingu, and its tributaries, the Rio Bacajá and Rio Iriri.
Now the fish has been formally described as Pseudacanthicus pirarara. The species name is derived from ‘assacu-pirarara’, which is what local fishermen call this fish — ‘assacu’ is the name for the spiky Amazonian tree Hura crepitans, in reference the catfish’s spines, while ‘pirarara’ refers to the reddish fins.