In 1915 the scientist Carl Eigenmann described a new tetra genus, which he named Megalamphodus. Type species is M. megalopterus, an aquaristic very well known species: the Black Phantom Tetra. In 1997 Megalamphodus became a synonym of Hyphessobrycon. Of the remaining species assigned to Megalamphodus in 1915 (ecuadoriensis, eques, heteresthes, melanotus, micropterus), only the Serpae tetra, H. eques, is encountered in the hobby; the appearance of the others is largely unclear – they are known only from dead, preserved specimens.
Now we could import most likely one of these species: Hyphessobrycon micropterus. This tetra is considered endemic to the Rio Sao Francisco river system (it flows through the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Sergipe, Pernambuco and Alagoas in Brazil), so it occurs exclusively there. The Rio Sao Francisco flows in the east of Brazil and has no connection to other rivers, which easily explains the high percentage of species endemic there.
Whether the pretty tetras now imported by us from the Rio Sao Francisco, which somewhat resemble very intensely colored Pristella, really belong to the species H. micropterus, which has been described over 100 years ago, must be shown by further, time-consuming investigations. Only in 2018 an almost identical looking species, H. piorskii, was described, but it occurs about 1,500 km further north (Maranhao state in the Munim and Preguiças rivers).
For our customers: the animals have code 261853 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer