Spectrolebias reticulatus

Spectrolebias reticulatus is a beautiful red-colored annual kilivis from South America. They will be no more than 3 centimeters long.

Spectrolebias reticulatus

Spectrolebias reticulatus is a nicely coloured annual killifish from South America. They can grow to a maximum of 2,5 – 3 centimeters in length. This species was described in 2003 by Costa and Nielsen.

Their genusname Spectrolebias consists of two words. From Latin comes spectrum meaning imagen of a thing, apparition. From ancient Greek comes Lebias meaning a kind of small fish. Their species name reticulatus means reticulated – marked like a net – referring to the net like markings on their flanks.

Synonym: Simpsonichthys reticulatus


Males have a red-colored appearance with a whitish spot on each scale that can be blue iridescent. Dorsal and anal fins are also colored red with clear blue iridescent spots. These fins are also different in shape and much longer than the fins of the other species in this genus. At the front of the dorsal fin males have a spot that is half black and half iridescent blue. Females are slightly smaller and somewhat dull gray in color. They are closely related to Simpsonichthys costai.


South America; Brazil, Rio Xingu.

Breeding Spectrolebias reticulatus

Spectrolebias reticulatus deposit their eggs in the substrate. Male and female are completely immersed, lay the eggs and fertilize them. If you want to collect the eggs, it is best to place a glass jar on the bottom. Fill the pot with peat and make it at least as deep as the length of the fish.

After the eggs have been laid, you can store the peat slightly damp in the dark. It takes a long time before the eggs are well developed. This can take 6 to 10 months, depending on the temperature. The newly hatched Spectrolebias reticulatus are a bit delicate. They only eat the smallest food such as infusoria and micro worms. A short time later you can switch to freshly hatched brine shrimp.

With the right food the fry grow quickly and are ready to reproduce after six weeks.



John de Lange

Copyright images

Peter Maguire


Costa, W.J.E.M. and D.T.B. Nielsen, 2003. Simpsonichthys reticulatus n. sp. (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae): a new annual fish from the Rio Xingu floodplains, Brazilian Amazon. J. Ichthyol. Aqua. Biol. 7(3):119-122.

Additional information






Simpsonichthys reticulatus

Breeding behaviour




Length minimum in cm


Length maximum in cm



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