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Biotoecus opercularis (STEINDACHNER, 1875)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:26pm

At time of writing there exists no scientific evidence that the different populations of this species seen in the aquarium trade (see 'Distribution') represent anything other than a single, widely-distributed species although some exibit minor morphological differences including relative body depth, longer fin rays in the unpaired fins and yellow or orange colouration in the paired fins. There is apparently a form from the upper rio Negro which may turn out to be distinct but it's…

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Brachyrhamdia rambarrani (AXELROD & BURGESS, 1987)

False Adolfoi

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

Several Brachyrhamdia species have developed colour patterns that mimic syntopically-occurring Corydoras spp. throughout the life-cycle, and the remainder may mimic Otocinclus or smaller Corydoras spp. when juvenile.

Among other catfishes they’re closely-related to members of the genus Pimelodella, but differ in…

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Crenuchus spilurus GÜNTHER, 1863

Sailfin Characin

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

This species is currently the only described member of its genus although colour pattern and morphology vary considerably across its range.

You may see reference to this species being the only fish species to possess infra-red vision, but other species also possess this ability and we suspect that infra-red plays an important role in the reproductive cycle of many fishes.

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Poecilocharax weitzmani GÉRY, 1965

Black Darter Tetra

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

Quite widely distributed having been recorded from Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. It’s been collected from the upper parts of several major river drainages including the Río Negro, Río Orinoco (including the Río Inírida and Casiquiare canal) and Río Solimões.

The type series was collected from ‘Igarapé Préto’, Brazil, said to be 60 kilometres to the south of the Colombian border city Leticia. Populations from Colombia and Brazil tend to be more intensely-coloured, and the Peruvian populations may apparently represent an undescribed species.

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Laetacara thayeri (STEINDACHNER, 1875)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

This species is relatively rare in the aquarium trade.

It can be differentiated from all congeners by a combination of possessing ctenoid (vs. cycloid) scales on the sides of the head plus lacking a dark spot at the caudal-fin base.

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Biotodoma cupido (HECKEL, 1840)

Cupid Cichlid

March 13th, 2012 — 1:23pm

Recorded throughout much of the Amazon basin, with its range extending eastwards from the Ucayali system in Peru as far as the Tocantins drainage which flows into the Atlantic alongside the Amazon at its delta. The southern extremity of its range appears to be the Río Mamoré in Bolivia, a tributary of the rio Guaporé, and the northern limit the Essequibo basin, Guyana.

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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 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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Brachyplatystoma filamentosum (LICHTENSTEIN, 1819)


March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

In the Amazon region it is only specimens larger than around 160 cm and werighing in excess of 50 kg that are referred to as ‘Piraíba’ with the name ‘filhote’ normally applied to smaller individuals. Other vernacular names include ‘Salton catfish’, ‘Kumakuma’; and ‘tiger antenna catfish’; with members of the genus often referred to collectively as ‘goliath catfishes’.

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