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Neonka obecna paracheirodon innesi.jpg
Neon tetra (P. innesi)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Subfamily: incertae sedis
Genus: Paracheirodon
Géry, 1960

Paracheirodon is a genus of freshwater fish in the family Characidae of the order Characiformes. The type species is P. 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 the Orinoco and Amazon Basins in northern South America.

Paracheirodon tetras reach maximum overall lengths of 2.5 to 5 cm (0.98 to 1.97 in) depending on the species, and are of elongated, tetra shapes. All share a distinctive iridescent blue lateral line, but differ slightly in their other colorations.

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 Ancient Greek χείρ (hand), and οδών (teeth), prefixed with παρά (beside) to distinguish it from the similar characin genus Cheirodon.


The currently recognized species in this genus are:[1]

Species of Paracheirodon
Binomial and common names Image Description Range
Paracheirodon axelrodi (L. P. Schultz, 1956)
(Cardinal tetra)
Paracheirodon cardinalis.JPG Upper Orinoco and Negro River basins in South America.[2]
Paracheirodon innesi (G. S. Myers, 1936)
(Neon tetra)
Neonsalmler Paracheirodon innesi.jpg Blackwater and clearwater stream tributaries of the Solimões River in South America.[3]
Paracheirodon simulans (Géry, 1963)
(Green neon tetra)
Paracheirodon simulans.jpg Upper Orinoco and Negro River basins in South America.[4]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Paracheirodon in FishBase. October 2012 version.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Paracheirodon axelrodi" in FishBase. March 2018 version.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Paracheirodon innesi" in FishBase. March 2018 version.
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Paracheirodon simulans" in FishBase. March 2018 version.