This is a form of Hypancistrus that has pretty much gone unnoticed in the hobby until now. It's another black with white spots form from the Orinoco delta in Venezuela, and it may be the smallest representative of it's genus together with L174. Due to the similarities with L201 and the fact that no information about it has been published so far, there's a real danger that it has already been kept as and crossbred with L201 among fishkeepers.
Name: Hypancistrus sp. L471
Origin: Rio Ventuari, Venezuela
Maximum size: 7 cm / 3''
This form has been imported several times to Neonfisken in Denmark under the moniker L280a (small spots) and L280b (big spots). This is very unfortunate. L280 is a number that belongs to another dwarf Loricariid from Rio Ventuari; Micracanthicus vandragti. However, the well known Aqualog book “All l-numbers” must take much of the blame. They published both pictures and accompanying text that suggested the possibility of L280 belonging to a small Hypancistrus species. This mistake certainly stuck with many traders. The small Hypancistrus form that we are dealing with here will be given an l-number of it's own soon. Compared to L201, this Dwarf species is, as the name suggests, smaller. It has more variation it the spot sizes, even the spots on a single fish may vary in size, and they are not as numerous as with L201. The mouth and head structure is also slightly different from L201. So far we haven't been able to determine if the form traded as L280b is actually the same species or not. More information will be published here as soon as we have it!
“L201 Dwarf” needs an aquarium set up consisting of lots of hiding places in the form of rocks, wood and of course specially made caves that suit their measurements. In these the males will eventually guard their offspring. They prefer water that is fairly warm (27-30 C), soft and slightly acidic. Most of all it should be well oxygenated and clean, so a good filtration system and frequent water changes are essential. It's a rather small and timid species that should not be exposed to too much competition over food and shelter. Among themselves they are fairly peaceful, although males may quarrel for caves and females can sometimes be badly injured or even killed during the breeding-trapping in the male's cave.