Phillip, Dawn A. T., Taphorn, Donald C., Holm, Erling, Gilliam, James F., Lamphere, Bradley A. & López-Fernández, Hernán, 2013, Annotated list and key to the stream fishes of Trinidad & Tobago, Zootaxa 3711 (1), pp. 1-64 : 14-17

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Leporinus friderici (Bloch 1794) [three-spot leporinus ]

Slow-moving streams and ponds; single record collected from Matura River on the east coast of Trinidad; believed to be locally extinct (Kenny 1995). Probably a natural colonist (Kenny 1995). Potamodromous. Extended (Ponton & de Mérona 1998) or seasonal spawning (Lopes et al. 2000); eggs deposited in lentic habitats in benthic nest, guarded by parents. Omnivore (de Melo et al. 2004). 500 mm.

As with many “species" in this genus, Leporinus friderici is a poorly understood species complex currently being investigated; taxonomic changes can be expected.


Steindachnerina argentea (Gill 1858) [silver fish, hump-backed sardine, stout sardine]

Clear or slightly turbid water (Kenny 1995, Winemiller et al. 2008) in ponds, drainage ditches, and the middle courses of streams, where it prefers muddy or sandy substrates; tolerant of hypoxic conditions (Winemiller 1989). South American fauna, with limited distribution in north central Trinidad (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998). Native (Kenny 1995). Lays sticky eggs on substrate. Epibenthic mud-feeder (Winemiller 1992). 110 mm.


Erythrinus erythrinus (Bloch & Schneider 1801) [red wolf fish]

Slow-moving lowland streams; facultative air breather (Stevens & Holeton 1978). In Trinidad, found only on the southwestern peninsula (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998), including the South Oropuche drainage. Native (Kenny 1995). Probably deposits eggs in pits in the stream bed. Carnivore; young may mimic prey species (Brosset 1997). 200 mm.

Hoplerythrinus unitaeniatus (Spix & Agassiz 1829) [yarrow]

Variety of habitats including clear, free-flowing, and sluggish streams and swamps, including anoxic waters (Kenny 1995); facultative air breather (Stevens & Holeton 1978); South American fauna, with distribution on Trinidad limited to populations in streams draining to the east coast (Kenny 1995), easternmost drainages of the Caroni River (Phillip 1998), and the southwestern peninsula. Native or natural colonist (Kenny 1995). Seasonal spawning (Ponton & de Mérona 1998); likely spawns in benthic pits. Carnivore. 250 mm.

Gill (1858) described Hoplerythrinus cinereus as an endemic species from Trinidad, however, in the absence of more collections, we currently treat all Hoplerythrinus from Trinidad as H. unitaeniatus , which also occurs in the nearby Orinoco basin. Further studies should reveal whether this treatment is warranted.

Hoplias malabaricus (Bloch 1794) [guabine, wolf fish].

Ponds, drainage ditches, and streams from lowlands to some headwaters; clear or turbid, fast- or slow-flowing water (Kenny 1995); dermal lip protuberances allow aquatic surface breathing in hypoxic conditions (Winemiller 1989). South American fauna, widely distributed in streams below the Northern Range zoogeographic barrier (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998). Native. Potamodromous on mainland. Spawns all year (Ponton & de Mérona 1998); spawns in pits dug in shallow areas, male guards eggs and young (Lowe McConnel 1999). Piscivore (Winemiller 1992, Ibañez et al. 2007), juveniles carnivorous (Meschiatti & Arcifa 2002). 560 mm.


Copella arnoldi (Regan 1912) [splashing tetra, copeina]

Sluggish or stagnant forested streams and swamps. Introduced (Kenny 1995); distribution initially restricted to the eastern part of the island (Kenny 1995), but it has spread to the far inland drainages of the Caroni River, which empties along the upper regions of the west coast (Kenny 1995; Phillip 1998). Lays eggs on leaves overhanging water (Krekorian & Dunham 1972); male splashes water onto developing eggs (Krekorian & Dunham 1972). Carnivore. 50 mm.

Nannostomus unifasciatus Steindachner 1876 [one-lined pencil fish]

Slow-moving streams among vegetation or other cover (Staeck & Schindler 2008). Introduced from Guyana, but believed to be locally extinct (Kenny 1995). Eggs laid in open water or among vegetation (Vorderwinkler 1957). Carnivore/omnivore (Taphorn 1992). 70 mm.

Pyrrhulina laeta (Cope 1872) [half-banded pyrrhulina ]

Large and small streams. Distribution in Trinidad limited to eastern streams (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998). Introduced (Kenny 1995). Eggs shed in open water or deposited on various substrates. Carnivore. 90 mm.


Gasteropelecus sternicla (Linnaeus 1758) [silver hatchet fish]

Slow-moving, turbid, lowland streams (Kenny 1995). Two populations on Trinidad: one on the southwestern peninsula (Kenny 1995), and the other in the eastern part of the island (Phillip 1998, Mohammed et al. 2010). Recent colonist (Kenny 1995). Oviparous; brief spawning period in the wet season (Alkins-Koo 2000); eggs deposited on various substrates. Insectivore (Planquette et al. 1996); frequently breaches water surface to take flying insects. 65 mm.


Astyanax bimaculatus (Linnaeus 1758) [sardine, two-spot sardine, sardine doree, pink-finned sardine]

Midwater dweller (Winemiller 1992) in large, clear streams to small, turbid drainage ditches and ponds (Kenny 1995); tolerates hypoxic conditions by aquatic surface respiration (Winemiller 1989). Native; widely distributed throughout Trinidad (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998). Oviparous; spawning season likely to be brief (Alkins-Koo 2000), during the early wet season (Ponton & de Mérona 1998); eggs deposited on various substrates. Omnivore (Alkins-Koo 2000, de Melo et al. 2004). 150 mm.

The Astyanax bimaculatus species group has recently been reviewed (Garutti 2003), but the species present in the Orinoco Basin, and hence Trinidad, are still under study.

Brycon falcatus group [No local name]

Large and small streams. South coast, Trinidad, based on one specimen (catalogue no. UWIZM.2011.29). Natural colonist. Oviparous. Omnivore (de Melo et al. 2004). 600mm.

Species of the Brycon falcatus group are in need of revision. Other names are often assigned to Orinoco Basin species such as Brycon bicolor Pellegrin 1909 .

Members of this genus are found in Trinidad from time to time, e.g., Brycon amazonicus (Alkins and de Souza 1984), but they generally fail to become established.

Corynopoma riisei Gill 1858 [swordtail sardine, swallowtail sardine]

Large and small streams, slow, turbid waters (Nelson 1964); tolerates brackish conditions. Widely distributed in lowland streams south of the Northern Range divide (Kenny 1995, Phillip 1998); does not penetrate far up Northern Range valleys, but reaches higher elevations on the South and Central ranges (Kenny 1995). Native. Oviparous, internal fertilisation with extended spawning coincident with high rainfall (Alkins-Koo 2000), females capable of storing viable sperm for months (Alkins-Koo 2000); eggs laid on submerged plants. Carnivore, feeding mostly on insects (Bushman & Burns 1994, Alkins-Koo 2000, Arnqvist & Kolm 2010). 80 mm.

Gephyrocharax valencia Eigenmann 1920 [No known common names]

Moriquite and Moruga drainages on south coast of Trinidad (Phillip 1998) (UWIZM.2010.14.253) (Vanegas- Rios & Phillip in press). Recent arrival (Phillip 1998). Internal fertilisation, eggs laid on various substrates; four months generation time; fecundity: about 734 embryos/female; egg diameter: approximately 0.75 mm. Spawns during rainy season, possibly more than once per season (Winemiller & Taphorn 1989). Omnivore, but feeds mainly on terrestrial and aquatic insects and microcrustaceans (Taphorn 1992). Origin on the island uncertain. 60 mm.

Gymnocorymbus bondi (Fowler 1911) [silver tetra]

Clear or turbid, slow-flowing streams. Lower reaches of coastal streams on the western south coast of Trinidad (Kenny 1995). Native. Eggs shed in open water or deposited on various substrates (Taphorn 1992). Omnivore. 60 mm.

This species was originally described as Phenacogaster bondi by Fowler (1911), later considered a species of Moenkhausia , and finally placed in Gymnocorymbus (Reis et al. 2003) .

Hemibrycon taeniurus (Gill 1858) [mountain stream sardine, sardine, bandtail tetra]

Clear upper reaches of streams. Endemic to Trinidad (Bertaco & Malabarba 2010); previously restricted to the upper reaches of streams on the southern slopes of the Northern Range and Nariva Swamp (Kenny 1995), more recently in streams draining the Central Range (Phillip 1998). Omnivore. 80mm.

There was some confusion regarding the correct identity of the species on Trinidad, which was described three times. According to Kenny (1995), Boeseman confirmed that the species was H. taeniurus , but listed it as H. guppyi based on a description of the species by Regan (1906 b); Kenny (1995) concluded that the species was an island race of H. taeniurus , rejecting the idea of an island endemic, H. guppyi . It was also described as Tetragonopterus (Hemibrycon) trinitatis Lütken (1875 a), a name now also considered to be a synonym of H. taeniatus (Bertaco & Malabarba 2010) .

Hemigrammus unilineatus (Gill 1858) [featherfin tetra, featherfin]

Fresh and weakly brackish water (Kenny 1995). Clear and turbid waters in ponds, slow-flowing steams, and drainage ditches; swamp forests (Kenny 1995). Historically found in streams throughout most of Trinidad, except for those on the north coast (Kenny 1995), but some evidence of retraction of the distribution toward the north east (Phillip 1998); does not penetrate far up stream valleys. Native. Extended spawning coincident with high rainfall (Ponton & de Mérona 1998, Alkins-Koo 2000); eggs deposited on various substrates. Omnivore (Alkins-Koo 2000). 40 mm.

Hyphessobrycon axelrodi (Travassos 1959) [ riddlei , pristella , calypso tetra]

Clear to slightly turbid, standing, fresh and mildly brackish waters at low elevations (Kenny 1995); swamp forests. Usually found in the lower parts of the water column. Native. Oviparous (Baensch & Riehl 1995). Omnivore. 30 mm.

Originally described as an Aphyocharax , ongoing research into the phylogenetic relationships of Hyphessobrycon species indicates that this species groups with those described as Megalamphodus , which is currently considered a subgenus of Hyphessobrycon by most authors (García-Alzate 2009). Mistakenly identified as Pristella riddlei (= maxillaris) by Price (1955).

Odontostilbe pulchra (Gill 1858) [sardine, sardine doree]

Clear to slightly turbid, flowing large and small streams, ponds, and drainage ditches; tolerant of hypoxic conditions by using aquatic surface respiration (Winemiller 1989). Southern slopes of the Northern Range (Kenny 1995) to northern slopes of the Central Range (Phillip 1998). Native (Kenny 1995). Oviparous (Winemiller & Taphorn 1989). Carnivore (Taphorn 1992). 50 mm.

Roeboides dientonito Schultz 1944 [hunchback or glass sardine, glass fish]

Slow-moving streams and slightly turbid, standing waters (Kenny 1995); can tolerate hypoxic conditions (Winemiller 1989). Previously widely distributed only in streams throughout east Trinidad, except those on the north and south coasts (Kenny 1995), but more recently also found in streams draining to the west and south coasts (Phillip 1998). Natural colonist. Extended breeding season with peak in wet season (Peterson & Winemiller 1997). Carnivore; eats fish scales (Winemiller 1992) and aquatic invertebrates (Peterson & Winemiller 1997). 120 mm.

Triportheus auritus (Valenciennes 1850) [No local name]

Moderate to slow-moving large and small streams, tidal regions of streams, and freshwater swamps; can breathe at the surface during hypoxic conditions (Winemiller 1989), but prefers well-oxygenated waters (de Melo et al. 2009). South coast, Trinidad; recent colonist from South America first collected from two western streams on the south coast in mid 1980 s (Alkins and de Souza 1984; Sturm and de Souza 1984). Thought to have gone locally extinct (Kenny 1995), but recently collected from a stream on the eastern portion of the south coast (Mohammed et al. 2010). These may represent separate colonising events. Eggs deposited on various substrates. Omnivore. 260 mm.