Lebiasina cf. multimaculata

6. February 2023

For the first time we could import large (10-12 cm), beautiful Lebiasina tetras from Colombia. The species identification is not completely sure. The animals originate from the Choco region in the south of Colombia; from there e.g. the emperor tetras Nematobrycon lacortei and N. palmeri are exported regularly, between which also young individuals of Lebiasina are found from time to time. In the Choco region there are seven Lebiasina species, namely L. astrigata, L. aureoguttata, L. chocoensis, L. festae, L. narinensi and L. multimaculatus. Of these species, L. astrigata, L. chocoensis, L. narinensi and L. multimaculatus have a similar color pattern. Without more detailed research, only after optical comparisons, our animals come closest to L. multimaculatus. But since all other species are only known from alcohol preparations, we are rather cautious and add a small “cf. ( = confer, so compare with) between genus and species name.

In any case they are beautiful fishes. The sexes can be easily distinguished by the anal fin, which is much larger in sexually mature males of comparable size than in females. Unfortunately, these animals are incredibly incompatible with each other and also the photo session could be carried out only under greatest precautions with a pair. With their impressive teeth these animals cause heavy damage very fast in case of conflicts! The second attribute that distinguishes them is the incredible voracity. It took less than 30 seconds after the release and the two fish were greedily searching for the remains of a food tablet that was still in the tank from the previous session. One gets the impression that part of the incompatibility is also due to them trying to eat each other. Adding a large batch of Tubifex was supposed to distract the fish and did. The more dominant specimen, the male, ate the Tubifex immediately and then left the somewhat shyer female largely alone.

Lebiasina are undoubtedly highly interesting and beautiful fish, but because of their characteristics they are only suitable for (predatory fish)  specialists. By the way, the animals are obligatory air breathers. About a possible brood care with Lebiasina nothing is known; they are – systematically seen – relatives of the pencil fish (Nannostomus and Co.). Also with these there is the sex difference with the enlarged anal fin of the males.

For our customers: the fish have code 265184 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer