- Hyphessobrycon: from the Ancient Greek υπελάσσων (hyphesson), meaning ‘of lesser stature’, used as a prefix in this case, plus the generic name Brycon.
- amapaensis: named for the state of Amapá in northeastern Brazil.
- Order: Characiformes
- Family: Characidae
This species is limited to a small region in the northeastern Brazilian state of Amapá, specifically within the rio Preto and rio Maraca watersheds. The type locality, as described in German and translated, refers to a small stream within a savanna ecosystem located on the B156 road between Camaipi and Santa Clara, approximately 11 kilometers away from Camaipi in the rio Preto area. This location is situated around 45 kilometers north of Macapá, which is also within the state of Amapá in Brazil.
The species in question was collected from small streams that flow through savanna grasslands in its native range. These streams typically contain clear, light-brown colored water with substrates consisting of sand and gravel. There is little in the way of submerged or riparian vegetation present in these streams.
According to the available information, the pH of the water at the type locality varied between 5.8 and 6.3. GH and KH were both less than 1°, while the conductivity of the water was between 9-13 μs. The temperature of the water ranged from 24.7 to 27.2°C (76.6 to 80.1°F).
Other fish species found in the same habitat include the congener Hyphessobrycon takasei, as well as a Nannostomus cf. beckfordi and unidentified members of the genera Aequidens, Acestrorhynchus, Leporinus, and Rineloricaria.
It is worth noting that the environmental conditions described above are specific to the type locality of the species and may not necessarily reflect the conditions in other parts of its range. Nonetheless, this information can provide some guidance for aquarium hobbyists who wish to create a suitable environment for this species in captivity.
In general, it is recommended to replicate the natural habitat of the species as closely as possible when setting up an aquarium for them. This would typically involve providing a substrate of sand and gravel and minimal or no aquatic plants. Decorative elements such as rocks and driftwood can be added to provide hiding places and break up the flow of water.
It is also important to maintain water parameters that are similar to those found in the species’ natural habitat. This could involve keeping the pH in the slightly acidic range and ensuring that the water is relatively soft with low levels of conductivity.
When it comes to tankmates, it is best to choose species that are similar in size and temperament to the species in question. In the case of this species, suitable tankmates might include other small tetra species or peaceful catfish such as Corydoras or Otocinclus.
Overall, the available information suggests that this species is adapted to living in small, clear streams with minimal aquatic vegetation. By replicating these conditions in captivity, aquarium hobbyists can help ensure the health and well-being of this fascinating species.
Maximum Standard Length
25 – 30 mm.
An aquarium with base dimensions of 60 ∗ 30 cm or equivalent should be the smallest considered.
This fish species would visually benefit from being in an aquarium that includes a sandy substrate, along with driftwood roots and branches. However, it can still thrive in a planted aquarium setup. Adding dried leaf litter to the aquarium would enhance its natural appearance and provide additional coverage for the fish. As the leaves decompose, they promote the growth of beneficial microbe colonies, which provide an extra food source for both adult fish and fry. The humic substances released by the decaying leaves are also considered advantageous for the aquarium’s ecosystem.
- Temperature: 23 – 28 °C
- pH: 5.0 – 7.0
- Hardness: 18 – 143 ppm
- Conductivity: 5 – 15 μS
In the wild, this species is likely to be an omnivore, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates, crustaceans, filamentous algae, fallen fruit, and other similar food sources. In an aquarium setting, they are known to survive on a diet of dried foods, but a varied diet that includes live and frozen food sources will help maintain their health and vitality.
One highly recommended food source for this species is chironomid larvae, commonly known as bloodworms. These can be purchased frozen or live and are a great source of protein. Mosquito larvae, Daphnia, and Moina are other live or frozen food options that will provide essential nutrients and promote natural feeding behaviors.
While it’s important to offer a varied diet to ensure proper nutrition, it’s also essential to avoid overfeeding. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, obesity, and other health issues. A good rule of thumb is to feed small amounts several times a day rather than one large feeding.
It’s important to observe your fish’s behavior and adjust their diet accordingly. If you notice that they are not consuming all of the food offered, reduce the amount or frequency of feeding. If they seem hungry and actively searching for food, increase the amount or frequency of feeding.
By providing a varied diet that meets their nutritional needs and avoiding overfeeding, you can ensure the health and vitality of this species in your aquarium.
Behaviour and Compatibility
The peaceful nature of this species makes it a great addition to a well-researched and planned community aquarium. To ensure the well-being of these fish, it’s recommended to keep them alongside similarly-sized characids, gasteropelecids, lebiasinids, smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes, and non-predatory, small-to-medium-sized cichlids. Keeping fish with compatible temperaments will reduce the risk of aggression and ensure a harmonious community.
For a more natural-looking aquarium, it’s best to purchase a mixed-sex group of at least 8-10 specimens. This will not only provide a visually appealing spectacle but will also promote the well-being of the fish by allowing them to establish a social hierarchy within the group. Additionally, including other schooling fish in the aquarium will provide a sense of security for the group, reducing stress and promoting a healthy environment.
It’s important to note that appropriate research and planning are crucial when setting up a community aquarium. Consider the specific needs and behaviors of each species, including water parameters, feeding habits, and preferred swimming areas. Providing appropriate hiding places, plants, and other decor can also help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. By carefully selecting compatible species and creating a suitable habitat, you can create a thriving and visually appealing community aquarium.
Sexually mature females are noticeably deeper-bodied and a little larger than males.
This species is an egg-scattering free spawner, and it does not exhibit any parental care for its eggs or fry. In a well-maintained aquarium, the adults will spawn frequently, and it is possible for a few fry to appear without any intervention. However, if maximum yield is desired, a more controlled approach is necessary.
To maximize the yield of fry, a smaller aquarium should be set up and filled with mature water. The base should be covered with a mesh or plastic ‘grass’ matting, or a layer of glass marbles. Alternatively, fine-leaved plants such as Taxiphyllum spp. or spawning mops can be used. The water in the aquarium should be slightly acidic to neutral with a temperature towards the upper end of the range recommended. An air-powered sponge filter or air stone(s) should also be included for oxygenation and water movement.
Once the adult fish are well-conditioned, a single pair or group of one or two males and several females can be introduced to each container and left in place until eggs are detected. The initial food for the fry should be Paramecium or a proprietary dry food with a small (5-50 micron) grade. As the fry grow larger, they can be fed Artemia nauplii, microworm, and other appropriate foods.
This species of tetra is known by several common names, including ‘red line’, ‘scarlet’, or ‘neon black red stripe’ tetra. It resembles the flag tetra (H. heterorhabdus) in displaying three lateral body stripes, but the red stripe of H. amapaensis is broader and the central stripe is white or creamy-colored. The lower black stripe is often reduced to a horizontally-orientated humeral spot in H. amapaensis.
H. amapaensis differs from H. heterohabdus in several other ways as well. For example, H. amapaensis has a maxillary with two teeth (one tricuspid and one conical), while H. heterohabdus has four conical teeth. H. amapaensis also has 18-20 branched anal-fin rays (vs. 21-23), 30-32 scales in the longitudinal row (vs. 32-34), and 13-17 gill rakers (vs. 19).
H. amapaensis can be distinguished from two other similar species, H. eschwartzae and H. montagi, by its color pattern. In the former, the dark lateral body stripe is continuous from the humeral spot to the caudal peduncle, while in H. amapaensis, it is reduced or absent towards the caudal peduncle. The latter species possesses two distinct humeral spots, while H. amapaensis has a single spot.
H. amapaensis is a member of the putative ‘H. heterorhabdus-group’ of closely-related species within the genus as proposed by Géry (1977). This group originally comprised around 15 members characterized by a ‘longitudinal pattern’ consisting of a thin, usually dark, lateral body stripe, but it has since been modified on several occasions.
Recently, Lima et al. (2014) proposed a putatively monophyletic H. heterorhabdus-group containing only three species: Hyphessobrycon heterorhabdus, H. amapaensis, and H. eschwartzae. These three species all possess a well-defined, elongate humeral blotch that is continuous with a dark, well-defined midlateral stripe that becomes blurred towards the caudal peduncle, a longitudinal red stripe extending along the body above the midlateral line, and an upper half of the eye that is red.
Hyphessobrycon was originally raised by Durbin in Eigenmann (1908) as a subgenus of Hemigrammus, differing from the latter by the absence of scales on the caudal fin. The grouping was revised by Eigenmann (1918, 1921), while Géry (1977) created artificial groups of species based on color pattern, and these definitions are still widely used today. They cannot be considered to represent monophyletic assemblages, however, and their concepts continue to be redefined.
Weitzman & Palmer (1997) hypothesized the existence of a monophyletic assemblage within the genus based on color pattern and male fin morphology that they termed the ‘rosy tetra clade’. This assemblage, plus other morphologically similar species, is considered to represent Hyphessobrycon sensu stricto by some authors, with the remaining species included in a much-expanded H. heterohabdus group. Others have proposed conflicting, typically more restricted, views of both the genus and/or its constituent species groups, and significant confusion remains.
It is clear that as currently recognized, Hyphessobrycon is a polyphyletic lineage containing several genera. The process of splitting it up has already begun, and Malabarba et al. (2012) revalidated the genus Ectrepopterus Fowler, previously considered a synonym of Hyphessobrycon. They also analyzed its relationships within the Characidae in the context of Mirande’s (2010) previous work, but included the type species, H. compressus, for the first time in such a study. The results demonstrated that H. compressus is more closely related to ‘rosy tetra’ representatives such as H. eques, H. pulchripinnis, and H. socolofi than to other members of the genus, including H. anisitsi, H. bifasciatus, H. elachys, H. herbertaxelrodi, and H. luetkeni.
As more genetic and morphological data become available, it is likely that further reclassification will occur, leading to a better understanding of the relationships among the various groups of tetras. Nonetheless, the popularity of these fish as aquarium pets is unlikely to diminish, and they will continue to be a favorite among hobbyists for their colorful appearance, peaceful nature, and ease of care.
- Zarske, A. and J. Géry, 1998 – Zoologische Abhandlungen; Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde in Dresden 50(1): 19-26
Hyphessobrycon amapaensis spec. nov., eine neue und mutmassliche Stellvertreterart von Hyphessobrycon heterorhabdus (Ulrey, 1894) aus dem Bundesstaat Amapa in Brasilien (Teleostei: Characiformes: Characidae).
- Calcagnotto, D., S. A. Schaefer, and R. DeSalle, 2005 – Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36(1): 135-153
Relationships among characiform fishes inferred from analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.
- Géry, J., 1977 – T. F. H. Publications, Inc.: 1-672
Characoids of the world.
- Lima, F. C. T., D. P. Coutinho and W. B. Wosiacki, 2014 – Zootaxa 3872(2): 167-179
A new Hyphessobrycon (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae) from the middle Amazon basin, Brazil.
- Malabarba, L. R., V. A. Bertaco, F. R. Carvalho & T. O. Litz., 2012 – Zootaxa 3204: 47-60
Revalidation of the genus Ectrepopterus Fowler (Teleostei: Characiformes), with the redescription of its type species, E. uruguayensis.
- Mirande, J. M., 2010 – Neotropical Ichthyology 8(3): 385-568
Phylogeny of the family Characidae (Teleostei: Characiformes): from characters to taxonomy.
- Oliveira, C. A., G. S. Avellino, K. T. Abe, T. C. Mariguela, R. C. Benine, G. Orti, R. P. Vari, and R. M. Corrêa e Castro, 2011 – BMC Evolutionary Biology 11(1): 275-300
Phylogenetic relationships within the speciose family Characidae (Teleostei: Ostariophysi: Characiformes) based on multilocus analysis and extensive ingroup sampling.
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Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America. CLOFFSCA.
- Weitzman, S. H. and L. Palmer, 1997 – Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 7(3): 209-242
A new species of Hyphessobrycon (Teleostei: Characidae) from the Neblina region of Venezuela and Brazil, with comments on the putative `rosy tetra clade’.
- Zarske, A., 2014 – Vertebrate Zoology 64(2): 139-167
Zur Systematik einiger Blutsalmler oder “Rosy Tetras” (Teleostei: Ostariophysi: Characidae).