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Hemiodus gracilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Suborder: Characoidei
Superfamily: Hemiodontoidea
Family: Hemiodontidae

The Hemidontidae are a small family of freshwater characins found in northern South America, south to the Paraná-Paraguay Basin. The larger species are popular food fish.[1]

Hemiodontids have a streamlined body shape; many are fast-swimming, and are able to leap out of the water to escape predators. The adults of all species except Micromischodus sugillatus have no teeth on their lower jaws. Most species have a round spot on the side of the midbody and a stripe along the lower lobe of the caudal fin. The largest hemiodontids are around 50 centimetres (20 in) in length.[1]


The family has around 29 known species,[2] as well as several undescribed species, in five genera:


  1. ^ a b 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). "Hemiodontidae" in FishBase. October 2011 version.