Overview

Distribution

Paracheirodon simulans is native to the neotropical region. These fish, which are commonly called green neon tetras, are found in northwest Brazil to Colombia in the River Negro, and in Venezuela in the upper Orinoco River basin.

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

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Upper Negro and Orinoco River basins: Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
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South America: Upper Negro and Orinoco River basins.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Green neon tetras appear similar to neon tetras, Paracheirodon innesi, although they are smaller and the red patch on the lateral body is less pronounced. The lateral blue-green stripe extends to the base of the caudal fin. These fish can grow to a maximum overall length of approximately 2.5 cm.

Range length: 2.5 (high) cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Size

Maximum size: 35 mm TL
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Max. size

2.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 38376))
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Type Information

Paratype for Paracheirodon simulans
Catalog Number: USNM 197510
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): H. Schwartz
Year Collected: 1962
Locality: Brazil: Amazonas, Lower Rio Purus,, Amazonas, Brazil, South America
  • Paratype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Paracheirodon simulans is mainly found in black water rivers of the South American tropics. They have been found in northwest Brazil in the River Negro to Colombia and Venezuela in the upper Orinoco River basin. Temperatures in these waters range from 72 to 82 degrees F. Because these jungle waters are typically shaded by overgrown trees, when keeping green neon tetras in captivity it is best to duplicate this natural shading by making the sides and bottoms of the aquarium dark.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; freshwater

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

Aquatic Biomes: pelagic ; rivers and streams

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Environment

pelagic; freshwater; pH range: 5.5 - 6.0; dH range: 4
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Trophic Strategy

Paracheirodon simulans is omnivorous. These fish tend to eat small live foods such as crustaceans, fish larvae, and insects.

Animal Foods: insects; aquatic crustaceans; zooplankton

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods)

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Associations

The role of P. simulans in its ecosystem has not been investigated. Green neon tetras act as important predators on their small, invertebrate prey, and serve as important food sources for larger, aquatic predators.

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Patterns of predation on these animals in their natural habitat have not been reported. However, it is likely that they are eaten by larger fish and other larger, aquatic predators at all life stages. The structural color that makes up their neon stripes may help to confuse predators and make it more difficult to catch these small fish. They are also protected from predators to some extent through their schooling behavior.

Known Predators:

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Green neon tetras transmit sound energy to the auditory organ by the use of a Weberian apparatus. This structure allows these fish to have better hearing characterized by large bandwidths and high sensitivity.

In addition to their hearing, green neon tetras have eyes, and can perceive visual signals, although the role of such signals in their commmunication has not been documented. Tactile communication may have some role in mating.

Communication Channels: acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; vibrations ; chemical

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Life Cycle

The pattern of development in these animals has not been characterized. However, eggs of P. axelrodi generally develop within 24 to 30 hours of fertilization.

  • Gilbert, S. 2003. Developmental Biology. 7th ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates Inc..
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Spawns better in schools than pairs.
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Life Expectancy

The longevity of green neon tetras has not been reported.

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Reproduction

Paracheirodon species generally spawn in schools, although single males and females may become closely associated while the female releases her eggs and the male releases his sperm.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Information on reproduction in tetras comes from specimens housed in aquaria. Female neon tetras lay approximately 130 eggs on the substrate. Fry hatch in about 24 hours. These fish tend to breed every few weeks. The larvae of these fish are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, so are restricted in the areas in which they may lay their eggs. Generally, eggs are left under canopies to ensure they hatch. Eggs are typically laid during the rainy and wet seasons when water levels are higher.

Breeding interval: Green neon tetras breed every few weeks.

Breeding season: Breeding season in the wild is influenced by water levels, generally occurring during rainy seasons. In captivity these fish can reproduce at any time of year.

Average number of offspring: 130 eggs.

Average gestation period: 24 hours.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Once eggs are laid, adult tetras do not provide any further parental care. Adult tetras may even eat their eggs and larvae.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hyphessobrycon simulans

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Paracheirodon simulans is not listed by CITES or IUCN as a conservation concern. This species is common within their native range and widely used in the pet trade.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Paracheirodon simulans has no reported adverse effect on human economies.

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Green neon tetras, and neon tetras in general, are important in the pet trade. They are popular for their bright coloration.

Positive Impacts: pet trade

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Importance

aquarium: commercial
  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott 1991 World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)
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Wikipedia

Green neon tetra

The green neon tetra (Paracheirodon simulans) is a freshwater fish of the Characidae family of order Characiformes. It is native to the upper Orinoco and Negro Rivers in South America.[2]

This fish is similar in appearance to the closely related and better-known neon tetra, but it is slightly smaller, and its red patch is less pronounced, while the blue-green areas of the upper body are more brilliant. Also, its body is slimmer than that of the neon tetra. It grows to a maximum overall length of about 2.5 cm (1 in).

Like the other Paracheirodon species, the green neon tetra is kept as an aquarium fish, but it is less commonly seen than either the neon tetra or the cardinal tetra.

P. simulans is also sometimes called the blue or false neon. Hyphessobrycon simulans and Cheirodon simulans are obsolete synonyms.

This fish loses its brilliant blue and red colors when lights are switched off, but regains them when lights are switched on again. The green neon tetra comes from extremely soft, acidic water at temperatures around 24 to 29°C (75-81°F).

Breeding[edit]

For breeding, these tetras need water similar to the waters in which they live in the wild; extremely soft water with a pH of about 6 and a temperature of around 77°F (25°C). Ideally, the water should be highly stained by the tannins from peat, in subdued light, shaded by plants. It spawns in a school, although in the actual act of spawning, one female may be closely associated with one or more males.

About 130 eggs can be laid by each female. The parents should be removed after spawning. The eggs should hatch in 24 hours. The eggs are light sensitive so avoid light. The babies are very small, so feeding infusoria (protozoa) is necessary early on. As they grow, this can increasingly be supplemented with fine commercial fry foods. Adults can breed again after a few weeks.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paracheirodon simulans". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved December 15, 2004. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2004). "Paracheirodon simulans" in FishBase. October 2004 version.
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