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Hyphessobrycon peruvianus LADIGES, 1938

Peruvian Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

This species is available on a relatively regular basis, although it’s sometimes confused with the similar-looking congeners H. loretoensis and H. metae.

It can be identified via the following combination of characters as per Géry (1977): elongate in shape with body depth fitting 3.8-3.9 times in its standard length; caudal peduncle narrow, its depth fitting 1.8 times in its length; head short, interorbital broad, snout short and rounded; dorsal-fin insertion an…

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Acestrorhynchus falcatus (BLOCH, 1794)

Red-tailed Freshwater Barracuda

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

The vernacular name of this fish is derived from its appearance and behaviour, rather than a genetic association with the marine barracuda, and it’s also sometimes referred to as ‘pike characin’ or ‘spotted cachorro’ with local vernacular names including ‘Grand dent-chien’ (French Guiana), ‘ Cachorrinho’ or ‘Ueua’ (Brazil).

Although most species of Acestrorhynchus appear superficially similar to one another most exhibit distinguishable external chara…

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Nannostomus trifasciatus STEINDACHNER, 1876

Three-lined Pencilfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

Wild populations vary in colour pattern depending on origin, and some populations have previously been described as distinct species.

A form from Peru has a particularly silvery body colour, for example, while another, marketed as ‘super red’ possesses an unusually long red stripe on the body, extending much of the length of the dark central stripe. A population from around Boa Vista in the rio Branco system, Pará state, Brazil has an ocellus o…

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Nannostomus marginatus EIGENMANN, 1909

Dwarf Pencilfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

There also exist a number of minor differences in colour pattern between populations. For example some Peruvian forms have yellow pigmentation on the body and fins, and those from Guyana and Suriname possess a short red stripe on vertical scale rows 6-9, above the central dark stripe on the body.

Rio Negro forms have a similar red stripe but overlapping the central dark stripe and extending along most of the flank, while a form from Colombia has an elongate red stripe which is broken in two beneath the dorsal-fi…

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Nannostomus harrisoni EIGENMANN, 1909

Blackstripe Pencilfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is quite rare in the aquarium hobby and is not often available in numbers, more often being exported as bycatch among shipments of the congener N. eques.

Following Weitzman and Cobb (1975) it can be diagnosed by the following combin…

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Nannostomus beckfordi GÜNTHER, 1872

Golden Pencilfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This is the type species of the genus, fairly ubiquitous in the aquarium trade, and represents an excellent choice for the newcomer to fishkeeping since it’s less demanding than most congeners. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘Beckford’s pencil fish’ or ‘brown pencilfish’.

Don’t worry if your fish look different when you switch on the aquarium lights after dark or in the morning as like most Nannostomus species it assumes a cryptic, vertically-barred colour pattern at ni…

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Nannostomus eques STEINDACHNER, 1876

Hockeystick Pencilfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species has been referred to the genera Poecilobrycon and Nannobrycon in the past and in the aquarium hobby is also known as ‘rocket’, ‘brown’, ‘brown-tailed’, ‘diptail’, or ‘tubemouth’ pencilfish.It’s a popular aquarium fish and has an interesting oblique swimming-style, a behavioural trait shared only with N. unifasciatus among congeners.

In the original description the colour pattern is given by Steindachner as a brown lateral stripe exte…

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Brachychalcinus orbicularis (VALENCIENNES, 1850)

Discus Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

The genus Brachychalcinus currently contains four other species: B. copei (Steindachner 1882) from the rio Madeira and rio Solimões; B. nummus Böhlke 1958 from the Upper Amazon region in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; B. parnaibae Reis 1989 from the rio Parnaíba basin, and B. retrospina Boulenger 1892 from the Rio Paraguay system.

The group is often referred to collectively as ‘silver dollar tetras’ and tho…

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Astyanax kennedyi GÉRY, 1964

Kennedy's Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

Endemic to pthe upper Amazon basin in Peru, around the city of Iquitos.

Most Astyanax spp. are not popular in the aquarium hobby, though the genus is among the most speciose within the family Characidae. A. kennedyi is no exception; you’ll rarely see it offered for sale but may find the occasional specimen mixed among other species in shipments of wild fishes from Peru.

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Astyanax leopoldi GÉRY, PLANQUETTE & LE BAIL, 1988

Leopold's Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

Most Astyanax spp. are not popular in the aquarium hobby, though the genus is among the most speciose within the family Characidae. A. leopoldi is no exception in that you’ll rarely see it offered for sale but may find the occasional specimen mixed among other species in shipments of wild fishes from Peru.

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