Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Anostomidae (Headstanders)

Genus/species: Leporinus fasciatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Black-Banded Leporinus has alternating colored bands of black and yellow. This striking pattern also suggests the age of a fish. Until about a year old, the juvenile has only five black bands, but about every six months later a band will split in two. At three years, the leporinus will have 10 bands, and the yellow will have a more orange cast. Females are larger than males.

Length up to 30 cm (12 in); 15 cm (6 in) is more common

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widely distributed in South America, from Guiana and the Orinoco region to the La Plata basin. Its natural habitat is rocky areas of fast-flowing streams and rivers, though it often migrates into flooded forest areas during the rainy season.

L.fasciatus has been introduced into the US states of Florida and Hawaii.


DIET IN THE WILD: Small invertebrates such as worms, insects, and crustaceans as well as other fish and plant matter. Like all members of its family, L. fasciatus very often positions itself had down (headstanders) to feed in rocky crevices or nibble on algae and green plants.

REPRODUCTION: The species is reported to build nests where the female lays eggs, which are guarded by the male. (fishbase)

MORTALITY and LONGEVITY: Life span: 5 years or more.


CONSERVATION: IUCN Redlist and CITES; Not Evaluated 

REMARKS: Leporinus (”rabbit”) relates to this fish’s two prominent front teeth The species is also known to leap out of the water, so perhaps its name has more than one reference point!


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Amazon Flooded Tunnel 2018


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