Tag Archive: Characins


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

Genus/species: Metynnis hypsauchen

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Almost circular in profile; juveniles may be spotted or striped; adults solidly silver with anal and caudal fins edged in red or orange. Length : 15.0 cm (6 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical South America primarily Amazon and Orinoco basins. Found in calm river reaches overhung by foliage.

DIET IN THE WILD: Generally herbivorous, eating leaves of river plants; occasionally eats worms and small insects.

REPRODUCTION: Group spawners. Eggs hatch in 3 days.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List, CITIES, Not Evaluated

REMARKS: A schooling species related to piranhas.
Possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites.

Amazon Flooded Tunnel AM11

References

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6343628168/in/set-72157620568438047/

fishbase  fishbase.org/summary/Metynnis-hypsauchen.html

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/217649/details

Ron’sWordpress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-cl

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Prochilodontidae (Flannel-mouth characiforms)

Genus/species: Semaprochilodus taeniurus

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Laterally compressed, silvery body. Caudal fin horizontally striped with 6+ black bands, alternating with deep gray bands.  Length to 24 cm (9.5 inches). 

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Amazon basin and its tributaries
such as the Rio Negro. Migrates and spawns in river channels but feeds mostly in the floodplains.

DIET IN THE WILD: Periphyton (a complex mixture of algae, cyanobacteria, microbes and detritus that is attached to surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems).

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least concern, CITES; Not Evaluated. S. taeniurus is one of the most common fish in the Amazon basin and the most abundant

flagtail prochilodusFllagtail Prochilodus  Semaprochilodus insignis (Prochilodontidae) Flannel-mouthed Characins  IMG_3094

 

REMARKS: Has two stomachs. One filled with mud and likely designed to process and  digest detritus.

 Amazon Flooded Tunnel

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8532474845/in/set-72157620568438047

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Se

fishbase  www.fishbase.us/summary/11898

 Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1010276/details

 

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

Genus/species: Leporinus fasciatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Noted by its alternating 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. Max.length: 30 cm (12 in), though 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. 

DIET IN THE WILD: Small invertebrates such as worms, insects, and crustaceans as well as other fish and plant matter. 

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: 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!

Like all members of its family, it very often positions itself had down to feed in rocky crevices or nibble on algae and green plants.

References

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Leporinus-fasciatus.html

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-9j

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2973195125/in/set-72157620568438047/

 


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae (Characins)
Subfamily: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Piaractus brachypomus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body is deep and laterally compressed, with silvery sides (becoming darker approaching the dorsum) and red coloration on the belly, chin, pectoral fins, and occasionally the leading rays of the anal fin. As in other characin species, a small, unrayed adipose fin is present approximately midway between the dorsal and caudal fins.The remaining rayed fins are uniformly dark-colored. Weight to 25 kg
(55.07 lb). Length 25 to 88 cm (9.84 to 34.65 inches).

Pirapitinga aka Red-bellied Pacu6502615125_d1410c5c16_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical. South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins in open water of large rivers and seasonally flooded forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects and decaying fruits and vegetation that fall in water. (Do these fish celebrate the inevitable last flight of a bola butterfly?)

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization. Although parents abandon their eggs, pacu are brood- hiders, minimizing the chances of the clutch being discovered by predators.
Lifespan to 25+ years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Not evaluated CITES No special status

Pirapitinga aka Red-bellied Pacu8412647627_064badee18_k

REMARKS: Because pacu are closely related to piranha, sharing their coloration and shape, Hollywood producers have been known to use the pacu as a stand-in for piranha. Actors are appreciative of the pacu’s preference for vegetable matter.

Pacu’s dentition allows them to crush fruit, nuts and seeds. Their teeth are cusped and resemble human molars, and they also have very powerful jaw. Can cause serious bites.

Like the tambaqui, an important aquacultured food fish in South America.

Amazon Flooded Tunnel

References

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1oN

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6502615125/in/set-72157620568438047

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/5808

 Animal Diversity Web ADW animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Piaractus_brachyp…

 

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

Genus/species: Colossoma macropomum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed body. The body is laterally compressed with an arched back. Color is basically gray to olive above, dark below often with spots and blemishes in the middle. All fins are black. Length to 100 cm (40 inches).. Weight to 30 kg (66 pounds) Length to 100 cm (40 inches).. Weight to 30 kg (66 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins as wild form; aquacultured form widely distributed in South America. Adults: open water of large rivers and seasonally flooded forests. Young stay in black waters of flood plains until maturity.

DIET IN THE WILD: Teeth in front are molars for chewing, NOT ripping. Good for eating fruits, greens and grain during seasonal flooding. Also feeds on zooplankton, insects, snails and decaying plants
ACADEMY DIET: Fruit, pears apples and bananas. (Allan Jan, biologist).

REPRODUCTION: They usually spawn once per year in whitewater rivers and inundated floodplain forests. They are substratum egg scatterers and do not guard their eggs. Life span: 20 years or more.

IUCN Red List and CITES Not Evaulated

REMARKS: C. macropomum has large nasal openings for excellent odor detection.
Can extend lower lip in low oxygen water to increase flow across gills.
Adults are important as seed dispersers for large-seeded plants during seasonal flooding.
Farmed as a food fish in South America. Popular in aquaculture because it can live in mineral poor waters and is very resistant to diseases.
Because the red-bellied pacu are closely related to piranha, sharing their coloration and shape when juveniles, Hollywood producers have been known to use the pacu as a stand-in for piranha. Actors are appreciative of the pacu’s preference for vegetable matter.

References

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/263

Docent Rainforest Course Materials, California Academy of Sciences. 2014

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8v

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2973190705/in/set-72157620568438047/

 




TAXONOMY

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

Genus/species: Ctenobrycon spilurus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large eyed, deep bodied, laterally compressed, disc shaped, silvery color with black spot on caudal peduncle. Variable amount of red in the fins under the fish. C. spilurus can reach 8 cm (3 in) length.

Silver tetra 3432696594_df6375f8e3_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Orinoco River basin. Found in areas of calm freshwater water.

DIET IN THE WILD: Voracious omnivore. Mainly zooplankton but also plants, worms, insects and crustaceans.

Silver Tetra 3178305677_8d30dc942d_b

CONSERVATION: IUCN Redlist; not evaluated.

Location: Flooded Amazon Anaconda Exhibit AM03

References

Ref. A Docent & Guide View of the Steinhart Aquarium Species

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608376694453/with/3178305677/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-188Encyclopedia of life  eol.org/pages/206551/maps

Fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=10629

Encyclopedia of life  eol.org/pages/206551/maps

IUCN Red list: www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Gasteropelecidae (Freshwater hatchetfishes)

Genus/species: Carnegiella strigata

More Marbeled Hatchetfish  IMG_7957

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hatchet shaped. A gold line extends from its eye to its caudal fin while the area below has a brown and cream-colored marble-like pattern. Length, 3.5 cm (1.4 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America rivers in blackwater environments generally in areas with a lot of surface vegetation.

DIET IN THE WILD:  Their mouth situated up on top of their body to eat surface crustaceans and insects. 

REPRODUCTION: The female deposits eggs on plants and roots.  Fry will hatch after 30 hours and become free swimming in 5 days.  

LIFESPAN: 2-5 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Not evaluated.

REMARKS: Amazonian rivers as they resemble a dead leaf floating sideways on the surface of a body of water.

Capable of propelled jumps above the water surface by beating their pectoral fins to escape predatory threats.

References

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-17P

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608614099673/

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=10736

 

 

 

TAXONOMY:
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

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/10286374786/in/set-72157625825649576/

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-18X

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

 

TAXONOMY
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

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8353979147/in/set-72157608614099673/

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-18j

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

Genus/species: Astyanax mexicanus 

2999116145_8b708fa627_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Head is notable for the absence of eyes. Young born with functioning eyes which become completely enclosed in tissue as fish grows. Lack of sight is compensated by a highly developed lateral line that detects vibrations and changes in the water. The fish is without pigmentation and is plain pink with a silver sheen. They live in schools and grow to about 12 cm or 4.72 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Texas, New Mexico, and eastern and central Mexico in freshwater pools within dark caves.

DIET IN THE WILD: A keen sense of smell and electrolocation aid in finding food. Blind cave fish are omnivores and feed on animal and plant remains that wash into the caves and on bat droppings from cave ceilings. Much of their time is spent searching for food; they are able to store four times more energy as fat than their surface-dwelling relatives, allowing them to deal with irregular food supplies.

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REMARKS: Two forms of A. mexicanus (eyed and eyeless) being members of the same species, are closely related and can interbreed.

Water planet

Senses Cluster WP41

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608608528651/with/2999116145/

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-11I

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