This cute dwarf tetra was described in 1913 from the Rio Madeira, where it was collected near Porto Velho. It is a typical companion fish of the two neon species Paracheirodon axelrodi and P. simulans and, as we know today, occurs throughout the range of the two neons, i.e. in the upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro drainage of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. The maximum size given for Axelrodia stigmatias is 23 mm. Sometimes these tiny specimens are more yellowish, sometimes deep reddish in color. Very red specimens are mostly traded as A. riesei (see also https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/axelrodia_stigmatias_colombia_en/). The true A. riesei comes from the upper Rio Meta, a large Orinoco tributary.
Some Axelrodia stigmatias have an additional intense red stripe above the luminous spot in the caudal fin. It is possible that this represents a sex difference, but this has not been investigated.
The care of the dwarfs is easy, but they need very small food. The reproduction succeeds best in the species aquarium. Here the fish spawn daily in small portions in fine-feathered plants, if the water values are suitable (extremely soft water, pH around 5). An efficient breeding method is not yet known, but in biotope-fairly furnished aquariums (plentifully dead leaves at the soil, fine-sandy underground, moderate current, damped light) usually without assistance of the keeper a few young animals come up.
For our customers: the fish have code 209922 (yellow) and 209913 (red, riesei) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer