Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum

30. December 2022

Similar to rainbowfishes, hardyheads (Craterocephalus) are exclusive elements of the Australian fauna. That is, they are found only on the Australian continent and offshore islands (including New Guinea) that formed the large landmass called the Sahul during the Ice Age. Craterocephalus have two separate dorsal fins and, like rainbowfishes, belong to the mullet relatives, but in a different lineage called silverside relatives.

Aquaristically Craterocephalus hardly appeared outside Australia so far. We have now received from Indonesia – probably from the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea known as Papua – hardyheads that are most likely Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum. This species grows to 9 cm long and there is also some aquaristic experience with it. It is considered to be very durable and peaceful. Concerning the water composition there are no special demands, a temperature between 24 and 28°C suits it. They will eat any common ornamental fish food, including dry food. The fish spawn on fine plants, they do not practice broodcare. There are hardly any external sex differences, females become a little more plump and the yellow coloration of the belly is less pronounced.

All in all Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum is a pretty, if not very colorful fish, but because of its unusual body shape it enriches a community aquarium very much. Craterocephalus should always be kept in a group, single individuals do not feel well.

For our customers: the animals have code 412453 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer