Serpae/Jewel Tetra

Serpae Tetra/Jewel Tetra Hyphessobrycon eques

Type of Animal:

Slow-moving backwaters, vegetated lakes, vegetated ponds, still/slow-moving vegetated streams, vegetated tributaries, plant-rich black rivers

N & C South America

Small red-bodied fish w/ black spot near gills, square-shaped dorsal fin, forked tail

Insects, insect larvae, worms, crustaceans, plant matter, snails

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquaculture & aquariums

Schools of 6-60 fish

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School
Male: 0.003 oz
Female: 0.004 oz
1-3 days 

Life Span:
3-7 years

Body Length:
Male: 1-1.2 in
Female: 1.5-1.75 in

Main predators are larger fish.
Also called Red Minor Tetra, Callistus Tetra, Blood Tetra, & Blood Characin.
They’re very active fish.
These are great community fish.
These fish very popular in aquarium trade due to beauty, coloration, & ease of care.
Males become more colorful during spawning.
They’re egg scatterers, w/ females scattering eggs over plants.
Fairly peaceful fish but may nip at longer-finned fish species & will nip at each other when feeding.
They often feed at surface but other than that spend much of their time in lower/middle areas of water column.
When eggs hatch, newly hatched fry feed on yolk sacs until they become free-swimming.
Male competition often results in better breeding.
Sometimes school w/ other tetra species.
Active during the day (diurnal).
Females release 200-300 eggs per spawning.
Spawning typically occurs early in the morning.
Maturity reached at 8 months old.
These fish are very easy to breed in captivity.
These fish make great pets.

Fun Fact(s):
These fish are skilled jumpers, doing so if frightened.
They’re somewhat related to piranhas.
Hyphessobrycon means “little/small bites.”
Like many tetras, they often swim jerkily.
A long-finned variety was developed in captivity & does not occur in the wild.

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