The so-called common hatchetfish Gasteropelecus sternicla is found in practically the entire tropical area of South America. In this huge area probably different genetic lines have developed. In any case, it is extremely unlikely that this is not the case. Nevertheless, they look extremely similar everywhere: they are simply success models of evolution!
A recent import from Colombia – we have Gasteropelecus sternicla practically always in our stock, sometimes also as offspring from Indonesia – is interesting because these animals originate from the Rio Magdalena. This river, which is about the size of the Rhine, is quite isolated from other river systems in South America and that is why many of its fish species occur exclusively there; the technical term is: they are endemic there. In fact, a hatchetfish species was also scientifically described from the Rio Magdalena in 1912, namely Thoracocharax magdalenae. Today it is considered a synonym of Gasteropelecus maculatus. Of course we were curious if the G. sternicla from the Rio Magdalena would look different than their cousins from other areas. Wrong! Nevertheless it is interesting to have seen them once…
For our customers: due animals have code 254406 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer