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BA1134

FLAGTAIL PROCHILODUS (RED) (Semaprochilodus insignis) 4"

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The Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts and Brazilians as Jaraqui, is endemic to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru.

Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis) are quite common and one of the most widely distributed shoaling species found in South America, where they are locally utilized as a food fish.

Twice each year, huge shoals of Flagtail Prochilodus migrate over several hundred miles, foraging on organic detritus that they sift from the sediment along their migratory route.

The start of the wet season sparks the first spawning migration from the nutrient poor black water streams and tributaries to the silt laden turbulent white waters of the larger river head waters where spawning takes place.

During this period, the fish can be seen leaping in the rapids like salmon. After spawning, the fertilized eggs drift downriver into the nutrient rich floodplains that act as a nursery for the fry, where they feed and grow into juveniles.

Unlike salmon that die after spawning, adult Flagtail Prochilodus return to the exact same spot in the flooded forest tributary or stream where they came from, to feed for the next 3 or 4 months.

The second mass migration takes place during the middle of the wet season. Adult Semaprochilodus insignis will again travel upstream into the whitewater rivers and tributaries where they remain in the area until the water levels drop. When water levels begin to rise again, the fish will spawn in the mouths of the tributary that they are currently in, and the cycle continues.

Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis)
Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis)

Adult Flagtail Prochilodus have a silvery torpedo shaped body, a red and black striped patterned tail, and red to orange anal and pelvic fins.

Semaprochilodus insignis and Semaprochilodus taeniurus both have black spots on their flanks as juveniles and are often confused with each other at that stage.

However, as adults Semaprochilodus insignis lose the dark flank spots that adult Semaprochilodus taeniurus retain. Adult females are identical to males but have rounder bellies.

Juvenile Flagtail Prochilodus can be housed in a 55 gallon aquarium, however at least a 100 gallon or larger tank is recommended for adults.

Juvenile Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis)
Juvenile Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus insignis)

Because they are aggressive towards their own kind in smaller numbers, Flagtail Prochilodus are best kept in an Amazon riverine biotope setting in groups of at least 6 or more individuals with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some medium to large river rocks, and several large pieces of driftwood or bogwood.