Sartor respectus

4. January 2022

From the Rio Xingu we could import the probably strangest of all headstander: Sartor respectus. Unfortunately there were only two specimens, which one of our employees acquired. Nevertheless we did not want to withhold this speciality from you, dear readers. 

Sartor (there are two other very similar species, one from the Rio Trombetas (S. elongatus) and one from the Rio Tocantins (S. tucuruiensis) are specialized in picking insect larvae from the underside of trees and branches that have fallen into the water. For this purpose they have the tusk-like teeth in their lower jaw. The genus name “Sartor” is the Latin word for “tailor” or, more generally, someone who works with a needle. This refers to the long, needle-like teeth in the lower jaw.

Sartor remain relatively small, around 10 cm. Among themselves they are quarrelsome, as is generally known of anostomids, without serious injury. An exciting animal that we would like to have “more” of….

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer