Head-and-Taillight tetras were introduced to Germany as early as 1910 and were also bred soon after. They soon belonged to the iron stock of ornamental fish. Since then there are practically no more wild-caught imports. Now we have received head-and-taillights from Peru, which we initially mistakenly determined to be wild Hemigrammus ocellifer. Tetra specialist Flávio Lima pointed out to us that they are actually H. luelingi, however! He wrote: „This is not Hemigrammus ocellifer, but rather Hemigrammus luelingi, a related species. Hemigrammus ocellifer does not have the anterior humeral blotch rounded as this fish but vertically elongated and more faded. Also, it is a relatively stockier fish. Hemigrammus ocellifer is actually much more common and widespread than H. luelingi, which is a common species in western Amazon basin, especially Peru and Colombia, but not elsewhere.“
Many thanks to Flávio also once again at this point!
Tetra lovers should definitely pay attention to the differences so they don’t accidentally produce unwanted hybrids (if the two species mate). It is gratifying that another handsome tetra species is now available in the hobby. The animals look especially pretty in aquariums with dark substrate, then the luminous spots on the shoulders and tail and the eyes seem to literally glow.
Who would like to compare: an entry to H. ocellifer can be found here: https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/09-characoids-tetra-relationship/hemigrammus-ocellifer-2/
Also very similar is H. falsus, for this see here:https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/09-characoids-tetra-relationship/hemigrammus-falsus-2/
For our customers: H. luelingi has code 256793 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer