Species group: Catfish
Other common names: Royal Plec; Royal Panaque; Royal Catfish; Acari-da-pedra; Carachama; L190
Scientific name: Panaque nigrolineatus
The Royal Pleco is a herbivorous freshwater catfish from South America. While the Royal Pleco also eats algae, it is best known as being among the very few fish capable of eating and digesting wood. It does so using symbiotic gut bacteria. The Royal Pleco is primarily nocturnal, and is generally shy under the light and will hide during the day. Royal Plecos are territorial, so a suitable resting area for this fish is necessary.
The Royal Pleco has striking red eyes and a dark body with gray/white horizontal stripes. The dorsal fin is dark with white tips and is often displayed rather than folded against the body. The body is encased in heavy armor, except for the belly, which is soft. This armor is made of strong plates of skin, not scales.