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It is found along the Pacific coast of Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, populating different tributaries of the Amazon Basin as well as Venezuelan rivers like the Orinoco. It lives in waters with abundant vegetation where it can hide.
It has a long, narrow tail from which two filaments of about 7.5 cm emerge, which give it its name of Palo (stick) or Palito (little stick) fish. It exhibits sexual dimorphism, the male has filaments forming a sort of "moustache" on both sides of its mouth and is larger than the female. It has a suction cup-like spherical mouth like the Suckermouth Catfish and the Golden Otoncinclus.
They lay between 60-200 eggs, depending on the size of the female, at night in a place chosen by the male. Fertilisation lasts 2-4 hours and once fertilisation is complete, the male will take care of the clutch without moving from above the eggs until they hatch, 6 days later.