Hyphessobrycon Cyanotaenia
Hyphessobrycon Cyanotaenia

Hyphessobrycon Cyanotaenia

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Hyphessobrycon sp. Imperial Lapis

A new species of Hyphessobrycon is described from the Rio Papagaio, a tributary of the Rio Juruena, Rio Tapajós basin, Brazil. The new taxon can be distinguished from its congeners by having a well-defined and relatively narrow dark midlateral stripe on body extending from the upper half of the posterior margin of the eye to the middle caudal-fin rays, absence of a humeral blotch, 16-19 branched anal-fin rays, 2-4 maxillary teeth, six branched pelvic-fin rays, and the absence of dark pigmentation crossing the eye. Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia, a species described from few specimens from the aquarium trade without precise locality, is redescribed herein based on extensive material, and its known distribution is discussed and rectified from the original description. 

Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia was first described in 2006 by Zarske and Géry. They belong to the large family Characidae or Characins. This family comprises no less than 145 genera and 1135 species. The genus Hyphessobrycon is being further investigated but currently comprises around 150 species.

The family name Hyphessobrycon consists of two parts: brycon is old Greek and can be translated into biter, hyphesson means a little smaller. Combined it means something like small biter.


They seek out the areas in the rivers where many trees grow and in slowly flowing tributaries. The water in these biotopes is often well supplied with tannin and other substances that are released from decomposing organic material, making the water quite acidic.


Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia distinguishes itself from its peers by a clear cyan mid-lateral line on the body that runs from the eye to the middle caudal fin rays. This fish also lacks the familiar elongated spot behind the gills and the dark pigmentation in the eye, which most of its species have.

They possess 16-19 branched anal fin rays and 2-4 large teeth. They have a relatively high body and a small eye.

It is not a big fish, the Lapis Tetra male can reach a length of about 3.3 cm and the female does not grow larger than 2.8 cm. The male is generally more colorful and brighter than the female.