We have already mentioned it: currently we have three species of the genus Hoplias from Venezuela in our stock. The common wolf tetra (Hoplias malabaricus) has a huge distribution area, but it is very likely that this “species” proves to be a species complex consisting of several, at least partially undescribed species.
With the “Hoplias malabaricus” from Venezuela we noticed for the first time that males and females are very easy to distinguish. For the photo session we simply have chosen two presumable couples due to the belly circumference. When they were to be brought back to their conspecifics after the shooting, we saw that the tail of the two suspected females behind the dorsal fin is considerably shorter than that of the suspected males. These Trahiras are, by the way, relatively tolerable among each other – provided there is enough food.
For our customers: the animals have code 258703 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
Right now we have three Hoplias species from Venezuela in our stock. Hoplias curupira belongs to the real rarities and is accordingly sought after among predatory fish fans. With a final length of about 40 cm the stocky species remains relatively small. It belongs within the genus Hoplias to the so-called H.-lacerdae group, which besides H. curupira also includes H. lacerdae (Rio Ribeira de Iguape and Rio Uruguay), H. intermedius (Rio Sao Francisco, upper basin of the Rio Paraná, and Rio Doce), H. brasiliensis (from rivers of the Atlantic coast from Rio Paraguaçu to Rio Jequitinhonha) and H. australis (Rio Uruguay).
Hoplias curupira has a quite wide distribution in the north of South America, it occurs in the upper Orinoko basin, in coastal rivers of Guyana and Surinam and in tributaries of the Amazon (Rio Negro, Trombetas, Tapajós, Xingu, Tocantins and Capim). Within the group, the blunt, almost round head profile is characteristic of H. curupira.
Since H. curupira was only scientifically described in 2009, there was often confusion with the large and highly aggressive H. aimara (synonym: H. macrophthalmus), which we will introduce to you shortly. The colouring is an unreliable characteristic of Hoplias species, since the animals can change it in a flash, but H. curupira is often very darkly coloured, which is why the species is also called “Black Trahira”. As the pictures show, they can also be bright with long stripes.
For our customers: the animals have code 258606 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
For the first time we can offer this predatory tetra as German bred ones! Hoplias malabaricus is one of the most widespread species of tetra in South America; it is therefore suspected that it is more likely to be a number of externally very similar, so-called cryptic species. The offspring was bred with a pair of wild-caughts from Brazil (unfortunately no closer catching area is known), the male is about 30 cm long, the female 28-29 cm. The male is 2.5-3 years old, the female about 2 years, the animals were not acquired together, but at intervals of about half a year. The aquarium is furnished with coarser sand, roots and robust plants (Cryptocoryne crispulata var. balansae).
Hoplias are very calm fish, lurking hunters who do not move much. The breeding animals are fed with smelt, sprats, mussels, worms, but meat is also popular. The water values in the breeding tank: Temperature 26°C, pH value 6 to 7.5 (with scarcely 6 they have spawned); otherwise Hoplias have no big demands on the water values.
Spawning takes place, as the breeder S. Schroers informs us, in the evening hours. The male digs a hollow in the ground, where the eggs (several thousand) are laid by the female. The male guards the nest and takes care of the brood. This can lead to quarrels between the parents. The male is very aggressive and irritable in this time.
The offspring specimens, which we can offer now, are currently 6-8 cm long and quite compatible with each other – provided there is enough food.
For our customers: the animals have code 258722 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Text: S. Schroers & F. Schäfer, Photos: Frank Schäfer