Neoheterandria elegans (HENN, 1916)
Etymology: Neoheterandria: from the Ancient Greek Neo meaning new, heteros, meaning ‘other, another, different’, and andros, meaning ‘male’.
elegans: from the Latin elegans, meaning fine, elegant, and handsome.
First description: Henn, A. W., 1916 – Annals of the Carnegie Museum 10(1-2): 93-142 on various South American poeciliid fishes.
Common name : Tiger Teddy
Type Locality: Río Truandó,
The Río Truandó is a tributary of the Lower Río Atrato, Colombia
Distribution: Neoheterandria elegans is only found in the type locality
Habitat: Found in shallow water with dense vegetation.
Size: Male 2.0 cm Female 2.5 cm
Colour/Pattern: The overall base colour is an olive green with a series of black stripes on the flanks from below the dorsal fin to the caudal fin. The amount of stripes is different for each fish and range from 6 to 9, the stripes themselves can vary in thickness depending on the individual but the stripe directly above the anal fin is notably darker and thicker than the others and highlighted by a surrounding golden colour. The belly below the lateral line is silver/white.
Unpaired fins start out similar to the base colour of the body and as they spread out the colour fads and becomes a pale grey colour with more pronounced grey/blue edge.
Behaviour: Tiger teddies are a shy species that appears to do better in a species only setup, given a well planted aquarium that is heavily planted will bring them out, can be kept with dwarf corydoras and ottocinclus type fish and also shrimp are good companions.
Larger females can have a tendency to be aggressive.
Husbandry: Neoheterandria elegans can be kept in a smaller aquarium with dense vegetation. They only require minimal water movement so a sponge filter or similar is required. Water parameters are not too much of an issue with minimal hardness preferred with a ph. over 7 and a temperature of between 24 and 28 °C.
Water changes should be done regularly with 25% to 50% being changed weekly.
Neoheterandria elegans is a micro predator and will need small live or frozen foods to thrive, microworms, grindall worms and artemia nauplii. Will take crushed flake. They do have small superior mouths (opens upward) which means they will struggle to feed from the substrate.
Breeding Notes: This species use the same method of reproduction as Heterandria formosa known as ‘superfoetation’ (superfetation in some literature) this is where the female can have multiple pregnancies at different stages of development running at the same time. The female appears to be constantly pregnant and will drop up to two fry every couple of days or so.
A mature sponge filter is a good idea to provide gentle circulation and infusoria supply. A good supply of infusoria supplemented with regular feeds of brine shrimp nauplii or small worms such as Walter worms will aid the growth of the fry.
The fry will grow fairly quickly and reach sexual maturity in as little as three months.
References: Henn, A. W., 1916 – Annals of the Carnegie Museum 10(1-2): 93-142 on various South American poeciliid fishes.
Wischnath, L., 1993 – Atlas of livebearers of the world.
Seriously fish www.seriouslyfish.com
Chicago Livebearer society www.chicagolivebearer.com
Breeding Tiger Teddies – Petcha www.petcha.com
Photograph taken from the Old British livebearers website with the permission of Tim Addis