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Thoracocharax stellatus (KNER, 1858)

Spotfin Hatchetfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

T. stellatus is superficially similar to its only congener T. securis, but can immediately be identified by the presence (vs. absence) of a prominent dark spot in the dorsal-fin. It is sometimes traded as ‘platinum hatchetfish’.

The genus Thoracocharax was originally erected by Fowler in 1906 as a subgenus of Gasteropelecus, but was elevated to generic status by Weitzman (1960).

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Hydrolycus scomberoides (CUVIER, 1819)

Vampire Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

This species may be referred to using a variety of names including ‘scomb’, ‘sabre tooth tetra’, ‘sabre tusk barracuda’, ‘dog tooth characin, ‘vampire fish’, ‘Cachorra’ or Pirandirá (the latter two names being used in Brazil where they’re also applied to congeners).

It’s regularly confused with the payara, H. armatus, though that species grows considerably larger, is pop…

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Corydoras atropersonatus WEITZMAN & NIJSSEN, 1970

Fairy Cory

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is sometimes confused any of several similar-looking fishes such as C. sychri or C. sp. C097.

While the former is a more elongate fish with a longer snout and quite easy to identify, C097 resembles C. atropersonatus more closely, despite being traded as C. sychri ‘longnose’. Its snout is longer than that of C. atropersonatus but shorter than that of C. sychri, and the dark spots on the body tend to be more well-defined and spaced out than in the other two.

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Corydoras ambiacus COPE, 1872

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

Described from the Río Ampiyacu, a small tributary draining into the main Amazon channel in Loreto Department, northeastern Peru, with additional records from the Yavarí (Javari), Napo, Nanay, and lower Ucayali drainage basins.

All of these are Amazon tributaries, and C. ambiacus appears to occur in most or all affluents of the main Amazon channel between th…

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Auchenipterichthys coracoideus (EIGENMANN & ALLEN, 1942)

Midnight Catfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is also known by the alternative vernacular name of ‘Zamora woodcat’, and is often misidentified as A. thoracatus. The latter is a valid species and very similar to A. coracoideus in that the coracoid bone is exposed ventrally and covered only by a thin layer of integument in both species. The two differ principally in the number of anal fin rays…

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Ageneiosus marmoratus EIGENMANN, 1912

Bottlenose Catfish

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species may also be seen on sale as 'Guyana slopehead catfish' 'dolphin catfish' or 'hammerhead catfish'. The attractive juvenile patterning is largely lost as the fish grow but this nevertheless remains an impressive predatory species for the larger aquarium.

The genus Ageneiosus was at one point classified in the family Ageneiosidae alongside the genus Tetranematichthys, but this was not accepted by all…

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Colomesus asellus (MÜLLER & TROSCHEL, 1849)

Amazon Puffer

March 13th, 2012 — 1:22pm

This species is also referred to as ‘South American puffer’, ‘SAP’, ‘Amazonian puffer’, ‘Peruvian puffer’, or ‘Brazilian puffer’ in the ornamental trade.

Within the genus Colomesus, C. asellus can be immediately identified by possessing a unique transverse row of dermal flaps across the chin which is absent in its congeners C. psittacus and C. tocantinensis.

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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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Aequidens tetramerus (HECKEL, 1840)

Saddle Cichlid

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

This is the type species of the genus Aequidens and has the widest distribution of any member species. It exists in various colour forms depending on locality with variants from Ecuador and Peru being particularly sought after since they develop striking red (Ecuador) or orange (Peru) colouration on the lower part of the jaw, head and anterior portion of the belly whereas those from Brazil tend to have an overall grey/blue/green colouration, for example.

Despite its type status it's long…

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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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