Chilodontidae (fish)

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Chilodus sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Superfamily: Anostomoidea
Family: Chilodontidae
C. H. Eigenmann, 1912

2, See text

The Chilodontidae, or headstanders, are a small family of freshwater characiform fishes found in northern and central South America. This family is closely related to Anostomidae and is sometimes treated as a subfamily, Chilodontinae, within the Anostomidae family. Due to issues of homonymy with the gastropod family Chilodontidae, one of the families must be changed, possibly by having the fish family revert to Eigenmann's original name of Chilodidae. See here for a discussion regarding this issue.

Chilodontids have colourful markings, making them popular in aquariums. They are small fish, all less than 7 cm (2.8 in) in adult length, and are distinguished by their habitual head-down postures.[1]


This family currently contains two genera:[2]


  1. ^ Weitzman, S.H. & Vari R.P. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). "Chilodontidae" in FishBase. October 2011 version.