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

Genus/species: Paracheirodon axelrodi

Cardinal Tetra  5356076192_ec6dc66610_b-2

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length to 3 cm (1.1 inch). Dark above, Iridescent blue line characteristic of the Paracheirodon species laterally bisecting the fish, with the body below this line being vivid red in color,

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Upper Rio Orinoco and Rio Negro. Found in schools of 12–30 over shoals in the middle water column; non-migratory.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivorous, Small crustaceans, worms filamentous algae and fallen fruit.

Cardinal Tetra 10286374786_182498b862_o

MORTALITY and LONGEVITY: Adults often perish due to starvation after spring floods when foraging habitats retract during the low water season. Preyed upon by other fishes including piranha. Live about one year in the wild average 5 years in captivity.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

Flooded Amazon, Cardinal Tetra tank, AM14


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Ref. Fishbase, EOL, Seriously Fish, Animal Diversity Web (U. of Michigan)