Language English Tropical Rainforest Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThe body of the black tetra is olive green and shaped like a slightly elongated disk. The very wide dorsal and anal fins resemble a mourning veil. It has a full, almost straight, lateral line. As it ages, this tetra fades to a smoky grey colour. ReproductionAt each mating, the female lays 300 to 500 eggs (up to 2,000 according to some authors). The sticky, translucent eggs attach themselves to plants. They hatch 24 to 48 hours later. DietThe species is omnivorous, feeding on larvae and small insects. PredatorsTheir enemies are birds and other fish. Humans also damage the species by discharging toxic waste into waterways (mining and forestry industries) and by catching them for sale to aquarists. HabitatThey prefer poorly lit areas, frequenting freshwater lakes with shrubby shorelines and relatively slow-moving watercourses in forests. They are found in Central America, in the Paraguay River and Rio Guaporé basins in Brazil, and in Argentina and Bolivia. Ecology, behaviourThese sturdy fish are quiet and peaceful. The male courts the female with a nuptial dance, swimming in place and vibrating his body. Black tetras live in schools. French nameTétra noir Scientific nameGymnocorymbus ternetziPhylumChordataClassOsteichthyes (bony fish)OrderCharaciformesFamilyCharacidaeSizeLength in captivity: 5 to 6 cm; maximum length in the wild: 7.5 cmLife spanIn captivity: 3 to 5 yearsStatusCommon species, commercially exploited for sale to aquarists.