Erythrinus erythrinus

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Erythrinus erythrinus
Erythrinus erythrinus.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Erythrinidae
Genus: Erythrinus
Species: E. erythrinus
Binomial name
Erythrinus erythrinus
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Synonyms [1]
  • Synodus erythrinus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  • Erythrinus brevicauda Günther, 1864
  • Erythrinus longipinnis Günther, 1864
  • Erythrinus salmoneus Gray, 1854

Erythrinus erythrinus, the red wolf fish, is a relatively small species of trahira (family Erythrinidae) from freshwater habitats in South America.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

E. erythrinus is a South American freshwater fish that is native to the Amazon and Orinoco basins, as well as rivers in the Guianas.[2] The species is also reported as native to the ParanáParaguay basin, including the Pantanal,[3][4] but the population in the lower Paraná basin and Iguazu basin may be an undescribed species.[5] E. erythrinus has been introduced to the upper Paraná basin where not native.[6] It mainly lives in creeks and marshes where the water has a pH of 5.6–7.8.[2]

Appearance and behavior[edit]

E. erythrinus can reach a maximum standard length of 20 cm (7.9 in), although other reports suggest it can reach about 25 cm (10 in).[2]

It feeds primarily on small fish, insects, and benthic crustaceans.[7] Juveniles are aggressive mimics of female aplocheilid killifish, notably Laimosemion agilae, and they use this to catch male killifish that seek a mate.[8]

E. erythrinus is not of major interest to fisheries, but is sometimes used as a bait fish[5] and seen in the aquarium fish trade.[2]


It was described by Marcus Elieser Bloch and Johann Gottlob Schneider in 1801,[9] originally under the lizardfish genus Synodus. The species was first placed in Erythrinus in 1854 by Gray (under the name Erythrinus salmoneus, a junior synonym of Erythrinus erythrinus), and this treatment has been recognized by recent authorities such as Osvaldo Takeshi Oyakawa in 2003.[10]


  1. ^ Synonyms of Erythrinus erythrinus at
  2. ^ a b c d e Erythrinus erythrinus at
  3. ^ Britski, de Silimon, and Lopes (2007). Peixes do Pantanal: manual de identificação. Brasília, Embrapa Informação. ISBN 978-85-7383-388-1
  4. ^ Martins, Cioffi, Troy, Martinez, Moreira-Filho, and Bertollo (2014). Differentiation and evolutionary relationships in Erythrinus erythrinus (Characiformes, Erythrinidae): occurrence and distribution of B chromosomes. Genetics and Molecular Research 13(3): 7094—7101.
  5. ^ a b Casciotta, Almirón, Ciotek, Giorgis, Říčan, Piálek, Dragová, Croci, Montes Iwaszkiw, and Puentes (2016). Visibilizando lo invisible. Un relevamiento de la diversidad de peces del Parque Nacional Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina. Historia Natural, Tercera Serie, 6(2): 5—77.
  6. ^ Garcia, Hernandes, Silva-Souza, and Orsi (2015). Establishment of non-native predator (Pisces, Erythrinidae) in a tributary of the Upper Paraná River basin, south Brazil. Neotropical Biology and Conservation 10(3): 177-181.
  7. ^ Recorded food items for Erythrinus erythrinus at
  8. ^ Brosset, A. (1997). Aggressive Mimicry by the Characid Fish Erythrinus erythrinus. Ethology 103(11): 926–934.
  9. ^ Bloch, M. E. and J. G. Schneider 1801 [ref. 471] M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Auctoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum. M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae.: i-lx + 1-584, Pls. 1-110.
  10. ^ Oyakawa, O. T. 2003 Erythrinidae (Trahiras). p. 238-240. In R. E. Reis, S. O. Kullander and C. J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.