Hyphessobrycon dorsalis (formerly determined as H. minor)

12. July 2016


The scientific description of a new species bases usually on dead specimens that are stored in a museum. Very often it is unknown how the living organism looks. Especially in small species of freshwater fish – the animals most often kept in aquaria – this method very often leads to mis-identifications, for the preserved specimens do look quite different and are defined on the basis of characters that are unobservable in living specimens.


So it is quite normal that permanently new species are discovered on the basis of imported, live specimens – thanks to the aquarium hobby!



All the things said above are true for the small species of tetra we were able to import once more from Brazil. The research in literature led to the idenfication „Hyphessobrycon minor“, a species that has been decribed in 1909 by Marion Lee Durbin on the basis of material collected in Guyana.

It was only in 2014 that the ichthyologist Axel Zarske discovered (by the way: on the basis of specimens imported by us) that this species was not H. minor but a species new to science. He named it Hyphessobrycon dorsalis.

Hyphessobrycon dorsalis belongs to the so called Rosy Tetra group. It becomes about 3 cm long. The species is of a translucent appearance and a bit mousy, but aquarists specialized in tetras will nevertheless be glad that the species is available again.


For our customers: the animals have code 261363 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer