Pseudanos winterbottomi and Anostomus ternetzi

21. June 2016



We received this nice headstander in the past years only very occasionally in single specimens as bycatch from Venezuela. Most often the specimens were intermixed in shipments of Anostomus ternetzi or Pseudanos trimaculatus. Finally we were able to import directly a number of the beautiful species. We have two sizes in stock, young ones (4-6 cm), and almost fully grown ones. As we keep the small ones altogether, we made the experience that they are quite peaceful against each other. Even fin damages do not appear. However, at least 10 specimens must be kept together, otherwise they start immediately to fight. The large ones are kept singly in our fishhouse. The youngsters also like to swim in mixed schools along with Anostomus ternetzi.



The golden striped headstander, Anostomus tenetzi, has a very wide distribution in South America. It is recorded from Brazil, French Guyana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. The specimens on which the original descritption based, originated from Venezuela, and we were able to import them from there once more.



This beautiful fish is among the most peaceful species of headstander at all. It stay smaller than Anostomus anostomus. The latter can become more than 16 cm long, while A. ternetzi attains a maximum length of about 12 cm only.


In very young specimens of A. ternetzi the broad band along the body has wavy edges; it looks as if it would be composed of many, merged spots. Later these edges become straight in many specimens, but in others it stays wavy. Possibly this is a secondary sexual character. It is known from many species of fish that the female´s pattern is more similar to the juvenile pattern than in males.

Pseudanos winterbottomi and Anostomus ternetzi obviously live together in their natural habitat.


Pseudanos winterbottomi can reach a length of about 15 cm; so it belongs to the group of medium-sized headstanders. The experiences we made with the formerly imported single specimens showed that this species can be kept like all other headstanders: they love well planted, large aquaria with a lot of hiding places.

The chemical composition of the water is of no meaning. One should keep these fish at temperatures between 26 and 28°C. The best company are other headstanders, like the already mentioned species, but P. winterbottomi can also be kept with other, peaceful tetras, cichlids and catfish. One should keep in mind that headstanders need some vegetables in their food, otherwise they will destroy waterplants. The species accepts readily any usual food for ornamental fishes.


For our customers: P. winterbottomi has code 283742 (4-6 cm) and 283744 (8-10cm) on our stocklist. Anostomus ternetzi has code 206001 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Pseudanos: means “false Anostomus”. winterbottomi: dedication name for Richard Winterbottom, curator emeritus for ichthyology at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. Anostomus: means “the one with the upturned mouth”. ternetzi: dedication name for Carl Ternetz (1870-1928). Pseudanos: means “false Anostomus”. winterbottomi: dedication name for Richard Winterbottom, curator emeritus for ichthyology at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada.

Suggestion of a common name for P. winterbottomi: Striped Bambi Headstander

Common name for Anostomus ternetzi: Golden Striped Headstander

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer