Most probably this importation of this black knifefish from Peru („preto“ means „black“) is the first one to Europe. At least the pictures of a life specimen we post here are the only ones we know about. The uniform black coloration is a good feature to distinguish the species from other members of the genus (there are five species of Sternarchogiton known so far). However, if one takes a closer look on the pictures a light stripe over the back is visible in many of them. This is not a true coloration, but a effect from the light. The mucus of the fish is obviously very thick over the back, which s the reason for that light stripe.
Aquarium observations show clearly that this knifefish tends to swim near the water surface. They often take air and water in the mouth; the water becomes spit out in form of a small blast. Most probably these fish feed in the wild on land insects that fall in the water. The species grows to a length of 20-25 cm, so our two specimens are fully grown already. Like most knifeffish these animals are very intelligent and observing them is extremely interesting.
For our customers: the fish have code 293905 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Only two specimens available!
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer