The zebra pleco (Hypancistrus zebra) is a species of catfishendemic to Brazil where it occurs in the Big Bend area of the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon River, and was first described in the early 1990s. It gets its name from its black and white stripes, resembling the colouration of a zebra. This species grows to a length of 6.4 centimetres (2.5 in) SL. This fish was exported from Brazil in great numbers for sale as aquarium fish. However, currently the Brazilian government bans the export of certain Hypancistrus, including H. zebra.
H. zebra is threatened by the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the Xingu river which will cause a severe reduction of the water flow of the entire known distribution range of the species. It is subject to several captive breeding programs.
Mature males have a larger head and longer interopercular spines than females. After spawning, the males will guard the eggs. The fry swim after seven days and absorb the yolk sac in two weeks.[
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