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Characins / Gasteropelecidae / Common Hatchetfish

Common Hatchetfish
Gasteropelecus sternicla

Synonyms: Clupea sternicla, Thoracocharax sternicla
Physical description: Has a convex body. The ventral fins are very small and the back is fairly straight. The wing-like pectoral fins are transparent and often measure up to one-half the fish's overall body length. The coloration is silver and the back is olive brown. The mouth is small and upturned. Depending on the angle of light, the colors can change from iridescent green to iridescent blue. A black vertical stripe extends from the gill cover to the base of the tail.
Size/Length: To 2.5" (6.4 cm)
Similar species: Silver Hatchetfish ( G. levis ), Silver Hatchetfish ( Thoracocharax securis ). The Common Hatchetfish is often confused with these two species.
Habitat: In small streams with heavy vegetation. South America; in Surinam, Peru, Guyana
S: Top
Aquarium: 28" (70 cm) or 20-25 gallons (75-95 L). See Hatchetfish family introduction.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.5 (6.8); 4-15 dH (8); 72-81°F (22-27°C)
Social behavior: See Hatchetfish description.
Suggested companions: See the Hatchetfish family introduction
FOOD: Live; mosquito larvae, Tubifex , crustaceans, Drosophila; flake
Sexual differences: Only distinguishable during spawning when white eggs can be seen in females body
Breeding techniques: As for C. strigata strigata .
Breeding potential: 9. The Common Hatchetfish has been bred only on a few occasions in captivity.
Remarks: This Hatchetfish can leave the water and "fly" for up to 10 feet (3.05 m).
Difficulty of care: 5. Among the hardiest of Hatchetfish, although not as hardy as C. strigata strigata


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com