Phylum:Chordata, Superclass: Osteichthyes,  Class:Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes), Order: Characiformes (Characins) Family: Lebiasinidae (Pencilfishes). .

Copella arnoldi

DISTRIBUTION: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil

HABITAT: Streams and tributaries off main river channels, and also occurs in flooded forests during the wet season with large amounts of overhanging vegetation.

APPEARANCE: Length 1.6″ (4cm).  The male grows larger than the female, and is more brightly coloured. Mature males also develop extended fins.

DIET: Feeds on worms, insects and crustaceans.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENTC. arnoldi   spawn on the underside of plant leaves or other surfaces that, are always above the water surface. The spawning site is selected by the male who once a site has been chosen will display at and follow a female forming a pair. At the climax of courtship, the pair lock themselves together using their fins, and jump out of the water, landing on the spawning site. Using their ventral fins, they can hold themselves here for up to 10 seconds, as eggs and sperm are released. Up to 12 eggs may be laid and fertilized, and the process is then repeated. Usual brood size is approximately 50.

LOCATION: Animal Attraction Series, Staff picks

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