Moema hellneri (= M. cf. ortegai)

5. August 2014

were able to import astonishing large Moema hellneri (formerly: Moema cf. ortegai, see comment below) from Peru. The
females are around 8 cm, the males around 12 cm long. This places them
among the largest species of killifish known so far. The extremely large
pectoral fins of the males are very impressive. However, the whole
finneage of the males is much enlarged and some fancy bettas and fancy
guppys must shame on them when looking at the Moema.

The only difference is that in this case not the human breeder but mother nature selected for enlarged finneage.

are bottom divers, this means the spawning pair dives deep in the
bottom, where the eggs dwell during the dry season. The adults must die
then and thus never become old in the wild, but in captivity the can
live as long as 1.5 years. The eggs need 5-10 months to hatch.

For additional pictures of animals which we were able to import in 2010, see

For our customers: the fish have code 329905 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Moema: a city in Brazil. ortegai: dedication name.

Suggestion of a popular name: Golden giant longfin

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moema cf. ortegai = Moema hellneri

On November 24th, 2003 (the exact date of publication is important, see below!) the scientific description of two new species of killifish from Peru was published. Wilson J. E. M. Costa described and named the two species Moema hellneri and M. ortegai. M. hellneri originates from the Rio Napo drainage, whereas M. ortegai originates from the drainage of the Madre de Dios. The original scientific paper was illustrated only with very poor pictures of preserved specimens. The diagnoses of the species based on features not visible externally, mainly the dentition and the shape of the maxillary bones.

On November 12th, 2003 in the magazine “Freshwater and Marine Aquarium” (number 12, volume 26) the description of Moema quiii (no typo!) appeared. This species originates from the Rio Tambopata, which belongs to the Madre de Dios drainage in Peru. Author of M. quiii is J. H. Huber.

Both authors obviously did not know from each other. This simultaneous descriptions led to some confusion in the time following. Nobody knew exactly which name should be applied to the Moema sometimes imported from Peru. It s necessary to know that usually no informations on the collecting sites of imported aquarium fish are available. So many reports on Moema from Peru still are bearing wrong names.

In the meantime it became clear that Moema ortegai and Moema quiii are the very same species. In such cases the elder name is the valid one, eg M. quiii. The fish we could import again now and which were named M. cf. ortegai by us are in fact M. hellneri.

We thank Steffen Hellner who informed us about the case described above.

Costa, W. J. E. M.  (2003): Two new annual fishes of the genus Moema Costa, 1989, from the Peruvian Amazon (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes, Rivulidae). Boletim do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, Nova Série. Zoologia No. 513: 1-10.