Sexing Hypancistrus zebra


Jul 29, 2009
Sexing for Hypancistrus Zebra, but goes for all Hypancistrus Sp. really, see images below:

Males tend to be more hairy along the pectorals and odontal regions of the fish, with head shape appearing blunt and triangular in shape, whereas the female has a more pointy head shape, usually less hair when compared with that of a male. Females when gravid appear tadpole shaped when viewed from above and males triangular shaped. Pectoral fins leading edge appear thicker in males and pelvic fins are larger than females. Obviously there can and will be variances with some fish, do not go an behaviour of the fish for sexing either as this can change due to tank environment/ setup and again variences in the fish's personality.

I also find when breeding, or in season, the males become darker and their odontal spines or "chew" is larger than normal.

Male is in the bottom in these three images

Or you can try and ventral sex them:

males are a more pointy "V" shape whilst females are more rounded and have a "U" shape to them. also a blotch of dusting is common just below the vent on males...

Hope this helps, J