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Ladigesia roloffi GÉRY, 1968

Jelly Bean Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

This species is sometimes referred to as ‘Sierra Leone dwarf characin’ and is the only member of its genus which can be distinguished from other alestids by lacking dorsal scales anterior to the adipose-fin insertion.

The family Alestidae is the most spe…

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Brycinus longipinnis (GÜNTHER, 1864)

Long-finned Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

Not imported all that often, this species seems to ship quite poorly. Once acclimatised, it usually proves quite hardy. A big shoal of adults can look stunning in the right setting.

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Arnoldichthys spilopterus (BOULENGER, 1909)

African Red-eyed Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

Endemic to Nigeria, where it occurs in the Ogun and lower Niger river systems. Despite its popularity in the aquarium hobby it’s relatively scarce in the wild and is known from less than 10 localities, all lying in an area where deforestation and pollution are uncontrolled and continue to occur extensively.

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Alestopetersius caudalis (BOULENGER, 1899)

Yellow-tailed Congo Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

This species is also traded as ‘yellow-finned’, ‘yellowtail’ or ‘blue Congo’ tetra and is occasionally bred on a commercial basis, although not on a scale comparable to its better-known relative Phenacogrammus interruptus.

No recent key to the genus exists but based on Géry (1977) and images in Mbimbi Mayi Munene and Stiassny (2012) it can be told apart from congeners by a combination of: extended median caudal-fin rays in adult males; absence of prominent dar…

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Paracheirodon axelrodi (SCHULTZ, 1956)

Cardinal Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

It was initially going to be described as Hyphessobrycon cardinalis by Myers and Weitzman (1956) but just before this was due to be published Schultz presented an alternative description in the hobbyist magazine ‘Tropical Fish Hobbyist’ and named the fish after the publication’s founder, Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod.

A significant proportion of the fish available in the aquarium trade are still wild caught or derive from community-led breeding projects such as Project Piaba in the middle Negro region, where this sp…

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Paracheirodon innesi (MYERS, 1936)

Neon Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

One of the most popular and instantly recognisable fishes in the aquarium hobby, this species has been selectively-bred to produce a number of additional strains including albino, ‘golden’ (leucistic), short-bodied, long-finned and ‘diamond’ (in which the dorsal surface is covered in reflective scales).

Unfortunately years of commercial breeding have somewhat affected the genetic vigour of the ornamental strain meaning morphological defects an…

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Serrasalmus brandtii LÜTKEN, 1875

White Piranha

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

A number of sources state that S. brandtii can be identified by the relatively anterior position of the anal-fin origin beneath the first few dorsal-fin rays. However, images of specimens collected from the rio São Francisco, where it is the only member of the genus present, suggest that this is not always the case and this is also supported by the figure from Eigenmann (1915). No recent diagnosis of the species is available.

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Pygocentrus piraya (CUVIER, 1819)


March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Following Fink (1993), P. piraya can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: adipose fin with rays in larger specimens (vs. always without rays in other Pygocentrus species); branched dorsal-fin rays 15-18, usually 16 (vs. 14-18, usually 15); usually 7 neural spines anterior to first pterygiophore (vs. usually 6); vertebrae 36-39, usually 38 (vs. 35-38, usually 36). It can also be identified by colour pattern since it possesses distinctive bright yellow-orange pigmentation on the lower jaw, opercle and lateral body in life.

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Serrasalmus gouldingi FINK & MACHADO-ALLISON, 1992

Goulding's Piranha

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

This species occasionally appears in the ornamental trade where it is sometimes referred to as ‘blue tiger piranha’

Following Fink and Macaht can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: body shape deep and rhomboid; head robust, snout blunt; eye large; mouth moderate, jaw projecting; 1-3 ontogeneticlly var…

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Pygocentrus nattereri KNER, 1858

Red Bellied Piranha

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

Famed as a rapacious predator capable of rapidly stripping flesh from bone and a danger to any animal entering its native waters, P. nattereri is among the most notorious freshwater fishes in the world. As a result, displays featuring this “bloodthirsty” creature are found in most public aquaria, grisly Hollywood movies have been released, and the species has become popular in the aquarium trade. Little of this infamy is based on factual evidence, however.

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