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Banded leporinus

Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Anostomidae
Genus and Species: Leporinus affinis
  • Striking alternate bands of black and pale orange adorn this fish
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Banded leporinus

Banded leporinus are torpedo-shaped, striped yellow and black freshwater fish found primarily in the creeks and streams of the Amazon River basin in Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela where they feed on plants, fruits and leaves.

Physical Description

A torpedo-shaped freshwater fish, banded leporinus (also known as many banded leporinus) are yellow and marked with nine thick, black vertical stripes when mature. Young banded leporinus may have fewer stripes, which will split as they grow.

Size

This species can reach 9.8 inches (25 centimeters) in length. There is no difference in appearance between males and females.

Native Habitat

Banded leporinus are primarily found in the fast-flowing creeks and streams of the Amazon River basin in Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela. Adults will seek shelter in sand holes in this environment. The fish can most often be found in the benthic layer of the water column, closest to the bottom of the river. They are an important food source in their ecosystem, and evidence shows that they are sometimes preyed upon by piranhas. Banded leporinus have been observed jumping.

Food/Eating Habits

Primarily herbivorous, banded leporinus will feed on plants, fruits and leaves. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they are fed a gel diet as well as produce.

Social Structure

Banded leporinus travel in schools.

Reproduction and Development

Breeding occurs in areas with dense submerged aquatic vegetation. Banded leporinus are an oviparous, or egg laying, species.

There is no current research being conducted on banded leporinus at the Zoo. Their status in the wild is unknown.