Characidium fasciatum (C. cf. pterostictum, P. sp. V)

15. November 2021

The South American darters of the genus Characidium are unfortunately almost indeterminable. There is no current revision of the 95 described species, but additional species are constantly being described and it is known that there are still numerous scientifically unrecorded species. In aquaristics one therefore helps oneself by simply calling everything “Characidium fasciatum”, well knowing that this is wrong, and additionally numbering it. 

The species, which we currently got again via Rio de Janeiro, is imported from time to time since the 1990s. In the Photo-Collection of Aqualog it is named as sp. V. Of all described species it resembles C. pterostictum the most, mainly because of the caudal fin pattern, which is much less variable than the body pattern.

This Characidium species grows to 9-10 cm in length. Juveniles have divergent coloration, showing a dark longitudinal band with fairly regular streaking; however, the caudal fin coloration is already distinctly species-typical, as is the conspicuous yellow patch on the edge of the gill cover.

South American darters are extremely entertaining fish, always curiously observing their surroundings. They rarely swim in open water, usually sitting, supported by their large pectoral fins, on some vantage point looking around. These tetras are among the few fish that can move their heads. Since each animal builds its own small territory, the aquarium should not be too small and well structured. South American darters can be fed with frozen and dry food without any problems, live food of all kinds is of course also taken with pleasure. Temporarily (a few weeks a year) this species should be kept cool (16-20°C), no demands are made on the water composition.

See also our film on the species here:

For our customers: the animals have code 215704 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer