Tag Archives: Moenkhausia

Moenkhausia pittieri

21. July 2022

The diamond tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri) has been in the hobby since 1933. The species lives endemically in Lake Valencia in Venezuela, so it only occurs there (including some inflows and outflows). Usually it is only in the trade as offspring, very rarely a few wild catches come in. 

At first sight the diamond tetra may seem a bit inconspicuous, but the glittering and sparkling fish in the right light are really a show and fully deserve the name diamond tetra. Add to that the lushly developed, flowing fins…

The pictures were taken from the fantastic wild catches that we are currently maintaining in our show room.

For our customers: the animals have code 269102 (offspring, medium) on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia phaeonota

22. October 2021

This small (about 4 cm) species of tetra originates from upper Rio Tapajós basin the Mato Grosso state in Brazil. It is the only species of Moenkhausia with such a colour pattern. So already in the original scientific description (1979) the author mentioned that this generic placement can be only provisionally. This makeshift stands until today for Moenkhausia phaeonota

Sadly this charming tetra is only very rarely available. If one observes the life fish the behaviour reminds one in that of croaking tetras (Stevardiinae). We are able to offer this rare tetra currently.

For our customers: the fish have code 269003 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia nigromarginata

23. July 2021

Again we can announce a first import: Moenkhausia nigromarginata. For the first time ever we received some of these tetras described in 1994. The species reaches a length of about 5 cm. Striking are the blue eye, the blue back in incident light and the – sometimes more and sometimes less visible – zigzag bands on the belly. This tetra comes from the drainage of the upper Rio Tapajós in Brazil and was caught together with Moenkhausia rubra.

Very interesting is the escape behavior of this species, which may explain why the animals did not appear in the hobby so far: when they feel threatened, M. nigromarginata shoot towards the ground and try to push themselves, lying on their side, under stones, roots and the like. This looks quite alarming for the keeper, who naturally fears that the animals would injure themselves in panic or become trapped in such a way that they would not be able to get out of the self-imposed trap again. But this worry is unfounded. Once acclimated, M. nigromarginata is no more skittish than other tetras.

All in all an interesting new form, which will surely find its followers.

For our customers: the animals have code 268852 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers. Only available in small quantities!

Moenkhausia rubra

16. July 2021

New legislation in Brazil now allows the import of species whose export was previously not allowed. One of these species is Moenkhausia rubra, which was only scientifically described in 2014. The species is so far known only from the Rio Juína and the Rio Juruena, both belonging to the upper Rio Tapajós drainage, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. The new species is quite unusually colored; especially the red back of the males is striking. Additionally – but this can only be seen in light obliquely from above – the anterior dorsum and the area along the longitudinal band have wonderful green iridescent zones.

The largest specimens known so far from nature were about 5.5 cm long (so with caudal fin about 6.5 cm). Probably they become somewhat larger in the aquarium than in the free life. In our facility these beautiful novelties proved to be robust, peaceful and easy to care for so far.

For our customers: the animals have code 269203 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia costae

22. May 2020

This tetra originates from Brazil (Rio Sao Francisco and Itapicuru). It reaches a maximum length of about 7 cm. Currently we can offer German bred specimens of this attractive schooling fish.

For our customers: the fish have code 268613 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia hemigrammoides

18. March 2020

From Venezuela we recently received „feather tetras“. This is what we used to call tetras that have a striking black stripe in the anal fin, accompanied by a white line in front of it. In general, however, the term “feather tetra” is alternatively used to species of the genus Hemiodus or Hyphessobrycon copelandi. Our “feather tetra” was first identified by us as Hemigrammus unilineatus.

Hemigrammus unilineatus is the type species of the genus Hemigrammus. It has a double, namely Moenkhausia hemigrammoides. The only externally visible difference between these two species is the lateral line, i.e. the sensory organ running over the flanks of the fish. In Hemigrammus this sideline runs over half the body length (Hemi: half, grammus: drawn), in Moenkhausia it runs over the whole body length. This feature can be seen on sharp photos.

Until recently, Moenkhausia hemigrammoides was thought to occur only in the Guyana countries, while Hemigrammus unilineatus occurs there and also in large parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia; this explains why we first called our new imports H. unilineatus without much thought. But now we found the time to take a closer look at them and lo and behold: they have a complete lateral line, so it must be Moenkhausia hemigrammoides

By chance, a study has just been published – in September 2019 – which for the first time describes the occurrence of M. hemigrammoides in Colombia (rivers Ariari and Inirida, both tributaries to the Rio Guaviare in the upper Orinoco basin), which makes the occurrence of the species in Venezuela very likely.

Moenkhausia hemigrammoides are very lively fish that constantly play with each other and rush through the aquarium in lightning-fast turns. The fish grow to about 4 cm in length (in nature the size of adult animals is between 2.1 and 3.3 cm, measured without caudal fin) and are therefore a real enrichment of the aquarium, even if they are not very conspicuous in colour.

For our customers: the animals have code 268653 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Géry, J.(1965): Notes on characoid fishes collected in Surinam by Mr. HP Pijpers, with descriptions of new forms. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 35 (1): 101–126.

Méndez-López, A. & A. Urbano-Bonilla (2019): Moenkhausia hemigrammoides Géry, 1965 (Characidae, Stethaprioninae) in Colombia: new records and comments on morphology. Check List 15 (5): 867-874

Moenkhausia celibela

28. October 2019

For over 150 years a small tetra is known in science, that is placed due to the scaltion of the tail fin at present into the genus Moenkhausia, under the name M. lepidura. The species differs from all other Moenkhausia species, it was thought, by the coloration of the tail fin, in the upper half of which there is a black spot, while the lower half is colorless.

Only in 2016 Marhino & Langeani showed that there are several species with this pattern. They found out that the “real” M. lepidura can be recognized by a special feature in the scalation. On the back of M. lepidura the edges of the scales of the flanks meet directly against each other (like in a house of cards), while in other, similar species an additional row of scales forms a ridge, so to speak. On a photo of this post, in which the fish is taken frontally, this can be seen well.

We have now received from Colombia a Moenkhausia species of this species complex, which cannot be M. lepidura due to back scalation. If one follows the identification key of Marhino & Langeani, it is most probably M. celibela, but there is also much similarity to M. mikia. Of course, we can never completely rule out that this is a scientifically not yet recorded, new species. By the way, our fish are extremely similar in colour to a scientifically undescribed Bryconops species from the Rio Xingu in Brazil. However, Bryconops species have long anal fins, comparatively larger eyes and a completely different swimming behaviour.

For our customers: the animals have code 268663 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer


Marinho, M. M., & F. Langeani (2016). Reconciling more than 150 years of taxonomic confusion: the true identity of Moenkhausia lepidura, with a key to the species of the M. lepidura group (Characiformes: Characidae). Zootaxa, 4107 (3), 338-352.

Moenkhausia simulata

14. June 2019

We obtained a somewhat irritating import of a very rare species of tetra last week from Peru. In all probability, it is Moenkhausia simulata; however, our new import differs slightly from the previously known M. simulata in coloration. All other tetra species with a pattern of several horizontal stripes (Astyanax lineatus, A. kullanderi, A. superbus, Bario spp., Hollandichthys spp., Hyphessobrycon hexastichos, Markiana nigripinnis, Moenkhausia agnesae, M. latissima, M. rara, M. simulata and Pseudochalceus lineatus) either look completely different and/or have a completely different distribution area. Possibly, the fish imported by us is a scientifically undescribed, M. simulata very similar species.

The sex-difference is particularly interesting with this species. Our fish are currently 4-5 cm long and obviously sexually mature. The  adipose fin of the males is clearly bigger than that of the females and rusty-black with the dominant male in the aquarium. Among themselves, these tetra are quite robust. As large as possible, well structured aquariums and as large a number of specimens as possible ensure that the aggressive actions are not reflected in fin damage. Otherwise, the care requirements of the fish do not differ from those of other species that have been cared for in the aquarium for a long time, e.g. the Buenos Aires tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi).

For our customers: the animals have code 269453 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia copei

8. February 2019

From Venezuela we received a very nice color variation of Moenkhausia copei. The fish now look a bit like a stretched version of Moenkhausia collettii, where the shoulder spot so typical for M. collettii is missing and where the orange tail fin of M. collettii is red. 

We were able to import Moenkhausia copei for the first time in 2011, then from Peru. They weren’t quite as strongly colored, but otherwise they match well with our current Venezuela fish. You can find a picture of the Peruvian fish on our homepage: http://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/moenkhausia_copei_en/

Moenkhausia copei reaches a total length of about 6 cm and is widespread in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. Apparently we could now import a really attractive variant of the peaceful and very lively swarm fish.

In spawn-mood, the males very well develop a strong humeral spot. This characteristic can therefore not be used reliably to distinguish between M. collettii and M. copei. The general body-form probably is the most reliable determining-characteristic.

For our customers: the animals have code 268632 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia heikoi

12. October 2018

For the first time we could import, even if only in very limited numbers, this tetra from the Rio Xingu described only in 2004. The animal became known in 2001, when Rainer Stawikowski presented the fish as “Hemigrammus sp. Xingu” in the journal DATZ. The scientific description took place in 2004, twice and almost simultaneously: by Géry and Zarske as Moenkhausia heikoi and by Lima and Zuanon as Astyanax dnophos. Since the work of Géry and Zarske appeared 5 days earlier, the name M. heikoi is valid.

This species is characterized by its large eye with a conspicuous light spot. The fish live in nature in cave-like structures between rocks in the rapids of the Xingu. Of course, they are very difficult to catch there, which is why they only appear very rarely on the market and at high prices.

For our customers: the fish have code 269513 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia agnesae

28. July 2017

We received once more the fantastic Moenkhausia agnesae from Peru. This is a larger species that can be kept ideally along with cichlids and catfish. Maximum length reported from M. agnesae is about 8 cm.

Formerly this species has been often confused with M. simulata. However, the horizontal stripes in M. simulata are all black, whereas in M. agnesae these stripes are reddish in the upper portions of the body. 

For our customers: the fish have code 268575 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer