Since a few weeks pictures of bright red Nannostomus are circulating, which seem to be unnaturally colorful. However, these are actually wild forms from Peru, which are very close to or even identical with the Nannostomus rubrocaudatus (the “Purple”), which is also found there. Like the latter, the novelties have a prominent black spot in the lower caudal fin lobe, a feature lacking in other Nannostomus of the form circle around N. marginatus and N. mortenthaleri.
Two forms are involved: one is called “Super Red Cenepa”. Their exact locality is still unknown. These animals have a deep black bar across the back and along the ventral edge, the fins are transparent or whitish. As far as we know, they have only been exported to Hongkong so far. The second form, of which we can show pictures here, because already small numbers reached Europe, comes from the Rio Amaya in Peru. We owe this information to Oliver Lucanus, who visited the catchers on site. Many thanks for this!
In the first imports we could see, all (80) fish were extremely red, only in some of them the head and the front fifth of the body was yellowish-whitish. We do not yet know if this is a sex difference or a variance in the coloration of the males. Elsewhere, females were included in shipments that were not outwardly different from Nannostomus rubrocaudatus females. We cannot decide if these are true females of Nannostomus sp. “Super Red” or if the exporters simply met the request for females from their customers in Europe, Asia and America by supplying females of N. rubrocaudatus. In the opinion of O. Lucanus, the females of the „Super Red“ are merely paler red in color, but otherwise resemble the males. As said, we do not know. But they are beautiful fish, that has to be said!
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer