Along with the recently introduced Pseudohemiodon apithanos from Rio Caqueta, another spectacular looking “stickfish” started showing up in the trade. It was soon concluded that this was a member of the (until now) monotypic genus Rhadinoloricaria, and with R.macromystax being the only described member of the genus it was thought that this was the species in question. However, it has since become apparent that there are several other, undescribed species of Rhadinoloricaria found in different places of Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. So, the one we are now having the pleasure of encountering in the hobby is more correctly labeled R.sp.“Caqueta”. Still a bit on the pricey side, and not available in great numbers, this is currently a rare and exclusive fish for that specially interested collector.
Name: Rhadinoloricaria sp. “Caqueta”
Trade names: Dragon Loricarid (Colombia)
Origin: Rio Caqueta, Colombia
Maximum size: 15 cm / 7”
Rhadinoloricaria is still such a new and unfamiliar fish in the hobby, that there’s a limited amount of information available on how to keep them. However, as with many other types of Loricariinae, certain things are given: They prefer a set up with clean, well oxygenated water, a layer of fine sand where they can bury themselves, peaceful and non-competitive co-inhabitants, and a varied selection of food. These are mainly insectivores in the wild, so a diet of well-balanced dry foods plus various frozen foods will do. Small worms are likely to be favored. Although I haven’t read any full breeding reports yet, it’s more than likely that this is a lip-brooder, where the eggs are deposited right onto the sand and guarded by the male, covering them with his head and body.
With new species and types of Rhadinoloricaria surfacing, we wll probably soon learn more about how they differ and how to succeed with keeping them in our aquariums.