Friday Photospread: Hemigrammus rubrostriatus

17 May, 2018

Hemigrammus rubrostriatus on display at the 2018 Minnesota Aquarium Society Tropical Fish Show.

While serving as a judge at the 2018 Minnesota Aquarium Society Tropical Fish Show, one particular lesser-known Characin immediately caught my attention and that of fellow judges and attendees.

Only described in 2015 by Axel Zarske, Hemigrammus rubrostriatus hails from Colombia. (Download the open-access species description here.)

In total, the group of five on display immediately stood out not only because they were an unusual species, but also because their rich gold coloration and red highlights stood out against the deep blue background. It was a well-planned presentation that clearly highlighted the show entry well. At the end of judging, by multiple independent scores, this entry won the tetra class.

Hemigrammus rubrostriatus, an interesting and relatively new Tetra out of Colombia.

Hemigrammus rubrostriatus, an interesting and relatively new Tetra out of Colombia.

FishBase currently puts this species’ maximum length at 4.9 cm (approximately 2″). As such, Hemigramma rubrostriatus isn’t going to be in your nano tanks, but a small group could display quite well in a 10-gallon aquarium.

I'm guessing this individual of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus is a male.

I’m guessing this individual of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus is a male.

In some respects, it’s fair to say that these fish look like overgrown Glowlight Tetras (Hemigrammus erythrozonus), to which they are related.

A possible female of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus.

A possible female of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus.

They are also visually similar to another relative, the Head-and-taillight Tetra, Hemigrammus ocellifer.

The use of an overhead diffuse flash (as in the 3 prior images) tended to wash out the subtle gold base coloration which is more apparent when photographed with only ambient light.

The use of an overhead diffuse flash (as in the three prior images) tended to wash out the subtle gold base coloration which is more apparent when photographed with only ambient light.

Ultimately, this newer Tetra is still rare in the trade. Aquarium Glaser GmbH in Germany has reported receiving this species in shipments from Peru and Venezuela, as well as Colombia. For now, if you’re looking to obtain this species, pay close attention to the imports out of South America and be prepared to snap it up should it arrive!

A shoal of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus on display at the 2018 Minnesota Aquarium Society Tropical Fish Show.

A shoal of Hemigrammus rubrostriatus on display at the 2018 Minnesota Aquarium Society Tropical Fish Show.

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About the author

Matt Pedersen
Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC, including AMAZONAS & CORAL Magazines. Matt has kept aquariums for 36 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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