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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Neon tetra

Paracheirodon is a genus of freshwater fish in the characin family (family Characidae) of order Characiformes. The type species is Paracheirodon innesi, the well-known neon tetra, and the Paracheirodon species are among the fishes known as tetras. All species of this genus are native to the Neotropic ecozone, occurring in several rivers and streams in northern South America.

The Paracheirodon tetras reach maximum overall lengths of about 1.25 in (3 cm), and are of elongated tetra shape. All share a distinctive iridescent blue lateral line but differ slightly in their other coloration.

Preferring soft, acidic waters, these midwater shoaling fishes feed predominantly on small crustaceans, insects, worms, and zooplankton. When spawning, they scatter their eggs and guard neither eggs nor young.

The generic name Paracheirodon derives from the Greek χείρ (hand), and οδών (teeth), prefixed with παρά (beside) to distinguish from the similar characin genus Cheirodon.

Neon tetra