The head & taillight tetra was introduced to Germany as early as 1910 and was also bred soon thereafter, but at that time it was always confused with Hemigrammus ocellifer and determined as such. Only in 1958 Hermann Meinken clarified the mistake and described the old known fish under the name H. ocellifer falsus. The “real” H. ocellifer has a well recognizable shoulder spot, which makes it unmistakable. There is no evidence that the two forms mix in nature or form intermediate forms, although their ranges partially overlap. Therefore, they should be considered good species, named Hemigrammus falsus and H. ocellifer accordingly.
We have now received “true” Hemigrammus ocellifer as a wild catch from Peru. It is indeed one of the most beautiful small tetra species. The attainable maximum length is 4.5 cm (including tail fin). They look best when kept in a larger group (10-20 specimens) under dim light and with dark substrate, then they really do shine like little lanterns.
For our customers: the fish have code 256922 (md-lg) and 256923 (lg) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer