Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Characidae (Characins)

Genus/species: Exodon paradoxus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Light tan with two distinct black spots (one before the tail and another on the flank.) Common name comes from the large protruding teeth. Length : 4 inches (10 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm) .

Bucktooth Tetra  8353979147_bb878d0337_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon and Tocantins River basins with sandy bottoms. Also found in Guyana.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects and the scales of other fish.

REMARKS: Eating scales of other fishes (lepidophage) is a behavior common to a variety of species. (Some species of Piranha eat only scales) Scales are nutritional, offering a source of calcium carbonate and other minerals, as well as a layer of protein-rich mucus. A reliable resource, scales are plentiful, available year round, and readily regrown.

Bucktooth Tetra  5230993504_efa63ce423_b

Flooded Amazon, electric eel exhibit. AM11

Ref. fishbase, EOL, Seriously Fish


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