Probably the most common Potamotrygon species in South America, it’s also the most commonly-available Potamotrygon species in the trade; many folks’ first ray will be a motoro. Typical colouration (referred to as P1) consists of orange spots, ringed with black, on an olive-green/brown body.
There are numerous variants; two of these have their own P numbers (namely P3 and P44), but some are simply given descriptive names. ‘Blue’ variants have a subtle blue colouration around the disc; ‘chain link’ motoros possess numerous closely-spaced spots around the disc edge; and the most sought-after and attractive variant is the ‘marbled’ motoro from the Orinoco River: these have an often-stunning variegated pattern, although some individuals fade with age. If provided with enough space, motoros are extremely hardy and very easy to keep, but providing enough space is the big issue for many people.
Motoros breed readily in captivity, which has ethical implications. Public aquariums maintain same-sex groups to prevent breeding as limited facilities exist for offspring to be housed. If keeping a pair, you’ll need to be sure that any pups have homes to go to. Pronunciation: Poe-tam-oh-try-gone mow-tor-row Size: Usually 50cm Origin: Uruguay, Parana-paraguay, Amazon and Orinoco river basins Habitat: Sandy and muddy rivers and pools Tank size: Minimum 300x100cm footprint Water requirements: Soft, acidic; 5.0 to 6.0 ph, hardness 4-12°H Temperature: 24-26°C Temperament: Predatory, peaceful with larger fish Feeding: Large meaty foods, fish pieces, prawn, earthworm Availability and cost: Rare; prices start around £150 to £250