This species is the only representative of its genus. It was first imported into Europe in 1907; since then it has always been available but has never achieved the “greatness” of some other tetras, despite its undoubted beauty. Distinguishing features include an adipose fin and conspicuously large scales. Males of the species are more brightly colored than females.
A black blotch behind the gills is a characteristic of these tetras, as is the relatively transparent body—hence the “phantom” of their common name. They look elegant in a shoal, thanks in part to the tall dorsal fin, which is more prominent in males. Include floating plants in their tank to mimic their natural habitat.
The characins are a large group of freshwater fishes found in South and Central America and Africa. They are characterized by the Weberian Apparatus (the linkage of bones between the swimbladder and the inner ear) that allows them to hear high frequency sounds.