The Common Plecostomus is a native of South America, where it lives in sluggish rivers and feeds by scraping algae off the rocks and logs with its unique suction-cup mouth. This behavior has made it invaluable to aquarium keepers, who utilize this fish as a natural form of algae control. Inevitably, some of these aquarium fishes escaped or were released and they survive as exotics in South Florida and Texas. Although called "Common" this species is, in fact, the least common variety of of Suckermouth Catfish in Florida.
Catching these fish can be problematic owing to their unique mouth parts and their algae diet; they tend to feed around dusk on very small items.