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All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth so I can eat escargot.

The black banded leporinus is native to the Amazon River basin in South America. They have also been seen in Florida and Hawaii, probably by the illegal release of specimens that had grown too large for home aquariums.

They have the appearance of a torpedo-shaped bumblebee. Its thick, vertical black and yellow stripes help individuals blend into the school in wide-open water much like zebra camouflage together on the open plains.

All leporinus have only five black bands as juveniles. As they grow, only one band will split in two every year, with the lighter mustard or golden yellow colour in between. By counting these bands, you can age the specimen.

The name “leporinus” is of French origin, meaning “little hare.” Close examination of the fish will explain the name, as they have two prominent front teeth much like a hare or rabbit. These teeth allow them to bite through most fruit and vegetation and can even allow them to eat snails.


Fish: Thin aquatic bumblebee

What do they eat?

Algae and leaves


Max 30cm

Water Type

Fresh Water/ Brackish

Where are we?


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