Hyphessobrycon, the genus to which Hyphessobrycon loretoensis belongs, is derived from the Ancient Greek word “υπελάσσων” (hyphesson), which means “of lesser stature”, and is used as a prefix in this case, in combination with the generic name Brycon. This name was chosen due to the small size of many species within this genus.
The specific epithet loretoensis, on the other hand, was chosen to honor the Loreto Department, a region located in northern Peru where this species is commonly found. This region is characterized by a vast network of slow-moving streams, small rivers, and floodplain lakes that are rich in biodiversity, making it a prime habitat for many fish species, including the Loreto Tetra.
The Loreto Tetra, also known by its scientific name Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, is a species of freshwater fish that belongs to the family Characidae. This fish is typically found in small groups within its natural habitat, where it feeds on small invertebrates and zooplankton.
The Loreto Tetra is a small fish, typically reaching a maximum length of around 3 centimeters. It has an elongated, slender body shape and a pointed snout, with a black horizontal stripe running along its silver-colored body. Its fins are transparent, and the dorsal fin is located closer to the tail fin.
The breeding process for this fish is relatively simple, as it can be bred in a small tank with a sponge filter and some floating plants. The eggs hatch within 24 to 36 hours, and the fry can be fed with newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flakes.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, the Loreto Tetra, is a fascinating fish species with a unique name that reflects both its physical characteristics and its native habitat.
The Characiformes order is a diverse group of freshwater fish that includes over 2000 species distributed throughout South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. This order is known for its unique characteristics, including the presence of a Weberian apparatus, a specialized structure that enhances their ability to detect sounds underwater.
The Characidae family is one of the largest families within the Characiformes order, comprising over 1000 species. These fish are typically small to medium-sized and are known for their unique physical characteristics, such as the presence of an adipose fin and a lack of an intramandibular bone. The family is further subdivided into several subfamilies, each with its own unique characteristics.
Characidae fish are widely distributed throughout South America, with some species also found in Central America and the Caribbean. They inhabit a wide range of freshwater habitats, including streams, rivers, and lakes. Many species within this family are popular in the aquarium trade due to their vibrant colors and peaceful nature.
The diet of Characidae fish varies depending on the species, but many are omnivores that feed on a combination of small invertebrates, algae, and other plant matter. Some species are also known to exhibit specialized feeding behaviors, such as the use of a sucker mouth to feed on the scales and fins of other fish.
On the whole, the Characiformes order and the Characidae family are fascinating groups of fish that exhibit a wide range of unique physical and behavioral characteristics. Their presence in both natural habitats and the aquarium trade makes them an important focus of research and conservation efforts.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is native to the upper Amazon River basin, and its range extends westward from Leticia in southern Colombia, to at least the upper rio Napo basin in Peru and Ecuador, and the lower rio Ucayali in Peru. It is also believed to occur in other tributary systems in the region, although records are limited.
Several records exist from the rios Loreto-Yacu and Pichuna in Colombia, as well as the rio Aguarico, which forms a section of the border between Peru and Ecuador. Additionally, García-Alzate et al. (2013) report its presence in the Madre de Dios watershed, a tributary in the upper rio Madeira basin, which suggests a significant range expansion and may indicate that this species is present throughout the Peruvian Amazon. There is also a single isolated record from the rio Palcazu drainage in the upper rio Ucayali basin.
The type locality for Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is the “Upper Amazon River, Loreto State, Peru.” This species is adapted to the slow-moving streams, small rivers, and floodplain lakes of the Amazon basin, where it feeds on small invertebrates and zooplankton.
In brief, the distribution of Hyphessobrycon loretoensis within the Amazon basin is not well understood, and further research is needed to fully understand the extent of its range. However, its presence in various tributary systems highlights the importance of preserving the diverse habitats found within the Amazon basin.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is primarily found in forest streams and minor tributaries within its native range. During periods of high water, it is believed to occur in flooded forests. These habitats are characterized by overhanging riparian vegetation, submerged branches, tree roots, and leaf litter. The water in these habitats is typically stained the color of weak tea due to substances released by decomposing organic matter.
The presence of riparian vegetation and submerged branches and tree roots provide essential shelter and foraging opportunities for this species. The leaf litter also plays an important role in the ecosystem, providing a food source for invertebrates and other small organisms that Hyphessobrycon loretoensis feeds on.
In addition to its natural habitat, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is also commonly kept in the aquarium trade due to its peaceful nature and vibrant coloration. However, it is important to note that the aquarium environment should mimic its natural habitat as closely as possible to ensure the health and well-being of the fish. This includes providing ample hiding places, a substrate of leaf litter, and water that is slightly acidic and stained.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is a fascinating species of fish that is adapted to the unique and diverse habitats found within its native range. Further research into the specific ecological requirements of this species is necessary to develop effective conservation strategies and ensure the preservation of this important member of the Amazonian aquatic community.
Maximum Standard Length
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is a small-sized fish, with a maximum standard length of 20-25 millimeters. This species has an elongated and slender body shape with a pointed snout, and its fins are transparent in coloration. The dorsal fin is located closer to the tail fin, and the fish typically displays a silver body coloration with a black horizontal stripe running along its length.
Despite its small size, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is an important member of the Amazonian aquatic community. This species feeds on small invertebrates and zooplankton, playing an important role in the local food chain. Additionally, its vibrant coloration and peaceful nature make it a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts.
Breeding the Loreto Tetra is relatively simple, and they can be bred in a small breeding tank with a sponge filter and some floating plants. The eggs will hatch in about 24-36 hours, and the fry can be fed with newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flakes.
While Hyphessobrycon loretoensis may be small in size, its importance within its ecosystem and popularity in the aquarium trade make it a fascinating and important species of fish.
Due to its small size, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis can be kept in relatively small aquariums. However, it is important to provide a suitable and comfortable environment for the fish to thrive in. An aquarium with a minimum base dimension of 60 by 30 centimeters or equivalent should be considered as the smallest size for this species.
It is also important to provide ample hiding places and areas for the fish to explore, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood. A substrate of leaf litter can also be added to the aquarium to mimic the natural habitat of the fish.
When keeping Hyphessobrycon loretoensis in an aquarium, it is recommended to keep them in small groups of at least six individuals to ensure their social and behavioral needs are met. In addition to a well-balanced diet of high-quality flakes and small live or frozen foods, it is important to maintain regular water changes and perform routine maintenance on the aquarium equipment to ensure the health and well-being of the fish.
While Hyphessobrycon loretoensis can be kept in relatively small aquariums, it is important to provide a suitable environment that meets their physical, behavioral, and nutritional needs. Proper care and maintenance of the aquarium can help ensure the health and longevity of this fascinating species of fish.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis can be showcased in a variety of aquarium setups, although it is suggested that they look their best in a natural-looking aquarium setup comprising a sandy substrate, driftwood roots, and branches. This type of setup closely mimics their natural habitat and provides a comfortable environment for the fish to thrive in.
In addition, the use of dried leaf litter in the aquarium can further emphasize the natural feel of the setup while also providing additional cover for the fish. The decomposition of the leaf litter also encourages the growth of microbe colonies, which serve as an additional food source for both adults and fry of the species. Moreover, the humic substances released by decaying leaves are considered beneficial for the aquarium environment.
Alternatively, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis can also thrive in a planted aquarium setup. Live plants such as Java fern and Anubias can be added to the aquarium to provide additional cover and hiding places for the fish.
Regardless of the aquarium setup, it is important to maintain a clean and healthy environment for the fish. Routine maintenance such as regular water changes, filter cleaning, and substrate vacuuming should be performed to prevent the buildup of harmful chemicals and debris.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis can be displayed in a variety of aquarium setups, and the addition of natural elements such as driftwood, dried leaf litter, and live plants can enhance the visual appeal of the aquarium while also providing a comfortable and healthy environment for the fish.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis has specific water parameter requirements that should be met to ensure their optimal health and well-being. The temperature of the water should be maintained between 22 to 28 degrees Celsius, with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0, and a hardness of 18 to 143 parts per million (ppm).
It is important to note that sudden changes in water parameters can cause stress and even death in fish. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a consistent environment in the aquarium. In order to ensure that these water parameters are maintained at optimal levels, regular water testing should be performed.
To lower the pH and water hardness, peat filtration or the addition of Indian almond leaves can be used. On the other hand, to increase the water hardness, the addition of minerals or crushed coral can be utilized.
It is also important to maintain proper filtration and circulation in the aquarium to ensure that the water parameters remain stable. The use of a high-quality aquarium filter can help remove waste and debris from the water, keeping the environment clean and healthy for the fish.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is an omnivorous species that feeds on a variety of food sources in nature, including small invertebrates, crustaceans, filamentous algae, and fallen fruit. In the aquarium, this species can survive on a diet of dried foods, but they will do best when offered a varied menu that includes live and frozen foods.
Live and frozen foods such as chironomid larvae (bloodworms), mosquito larvae, Daphnia, and Moina are great food sources that can be added to the fish’s diet. These types of foods offer essential nutrients and vitamins that can aid in their growth and overall health.
It is also important to note that overfeeding can lead to health problems and water quality issues in the aquarium. Therefore, it is recommended to feed small amounts of food multiple times a day, rather than one large feeding.
It is also essential to maintain a balanced diet for the fish and provide a variety of food sources. Feeding a single type of food can lead to nutritional deficiencies and negatively impact their health. Therefore, it is recommended to rotate the types of foods offered to the fish to ensure a well-balanced diet.
Providing a varied and balanced diet is crucial to the health and well-being of Hyphessobrycon loretoensis. Proper feeding practices, including the use of live and frozen foods, can help ensure the fish’s optimal growth and overall health.
Behaviour and Compatibility
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is a very peaceful species of fish, making it an ideal resident in a community aquarium. They are best kept alongside similarly-sized characids, gasteropelecids, lebiasinids, smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes, and non-predatory, small-to-medium-sized cichlids.
When purchasing Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, it is recommended to buy a mixed-sex group of at least 8-10 specimens. Including other schooling fish species in the aquarium can provide a sense of security for the fish and create a more natural-looking spectacle in the aquarium.
It is important to note that larger and more aggressive fish species should be avoided as they may cause stress or harm to Hyphessobrycon loretoensis. Additionally, it is important to avoid keeping this species with any predatory fish that may view the small tetras as potential prey.
Maintaining a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces and cover can also help reduce stress levels for the fish and create a more natural-looking environment. Providing a suitable environment that meets their social and behavioral needs can help ensure the health and longevity of this fascinating species of fish.
In general, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is a peaceful and social species that can thrive in a community aquarium when kept with compatible tank mates and provided with a suitable environment that meets their social and behavioral needs.
In Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, sexually mature females are easily distinguished from males by their rounder body shape. Females tend to have a larger and more robust body shape than males of the species. Additionally, females may grow slightly larger in size than males as they mature and reach adulthood.
It is important to note that sexing fish can be difficult, and other characteristics should also be taken into consideration when attempting to determine the sex of the fish. For example, during breeding, females may exhibit a more vibrant coloration than males, and males may have more elongated or pointed fins.
In order to breed Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, it is recommended to keep them in a separate breeding tank with suitable breeding conditions. The breeding tank should be heavily planted with plenty of hiding spaces and cover for the fish to lay their eggs. The water should be maintained at optimal parameters, and a varied and nutritious diet should be provided to encourage breeding behavior.
While sexing fish can be difficult, in Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, females can be identified by their rounder body shape and slightly larger size compared to males. When attempting to breed this species, a separate breeding tank with suitable conditions should be provided to encourage breeding behavior.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis is an egg-scattering free spawner that exhibits no parental care. When in good condition, adults will spawn often, and in a mature aquarium, it is possible for small numbers of fry to appear without intervention. However, if you want to maximize the yield of fry, a more controlled approach is required.
To encourage breeding in a separate breeding tank, the adult group can still be conditioned together. However, a smaller aquarium should also be set up and filled with mature water. This breeding tank should be very dimly lit, and the base should be covered with some kind of mesh with a large enough grade so that the eggs can fall through but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them.
Alternatively, widely available plastic “grass” matting or a layer of glass marbles can also be used. Another option is filling much of the tank with a fine-leaved plant, such as Taxiphyllum or artificial spawning mops.
The water in the breeding tank should be slightly acidic to neutral pH with a temperature towards the upper end of the range suggested above. An air-powered sponge filter or air stone(s) should also be included to provide oxygenation and water movement.
Once the adult fish are well-conditioned, a single pair or group comprising one or two males and several females can be introduced to each container and left in place until eggs are detected (typically the following morning). The initial food for the fry should be Paramecium or a proprietary dry food of sufficiently small grade (5-50 micron). As the fry grow, they can be introduced to larger food sources, such as Artemia nauplii, microworms, etc.
Hence, breeding Hyphessobrycon loretoensis in a controlled environment requires a separate breeding tank with suitable conditions, including dim lighting, a suitable substrate, and aeration. Providing a suitable diet for both the adult fish and fry is essential for optimal breeding results.
H. loretoensis is a popular species in the aquarium hobby, but availability can be sporadic because most of the fish traded are wild caught. According to the most recent diagnosis by Géry (1977), this species can be distinguished from other members of its group by several characteristics such as a dorsal fin insertion at or slightly anterior to mid-body, a caudal fin that is almost entirely brick red to orange-red, and a body depth that fits less than 3.6 times in standard length (SL).
H. loretoensis belongs to the putative ‘H. agulha-group’ of closely-related species within the genus as proposed by Géry (1977), all of which possess a dark lower half of the body, especially above the anal-fin, and usually a horizontally elongate humeral spot, more or less united with the asymmetrical, broad band. Other species in this group include H. agulha, H. metae, H. peruvianus, and H. herbertaxelrodi, but some authors have included one or more of these, including H. loretoensis, in the H. heterohabdus group.
Lima et al. (2014) noted similarities between the H. aghula group and their revised H. heterorhabdus group, which comprises Hyphessobrycon heterorhabdus, H. amapaensis, and H. eschwartzae. This trio all possess several distinct characteristics including 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.
The pattern of these characteristics is different from that presented by several members of Géry’s original H. heterorhabdus group, such as H. vilmae, H. cachimbensis, and H. stegemanni, which possess a continuous, solid dark lateral stripe on the body and no obvious humeral blotch.
Hyphessobrycon was initially 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 later revised by Eigenmann (1918, 1921) while Géry (1977) created artificial groups of species based on color pattern, which are still widely used today, such as the H. agulha group and the H. heterohabdus group. However, these cannot be considered to represent monophyletic assemblages, 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, leading to significant confusion. It is clear, however, that as currently recognized, Hyphessobrycon is a polyphyletic lineage containing several genera. The process of splitting it up has already started, and Malabarba et al. (2012) revalidated the genus Ectrepopterus Fowler, previously considered a synonym of Hyphessobrycon. They
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