Black Widow tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

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Black Widow tetra

Gymnocorymbus ternetzi5839.JPG
Black Widow tetra

Gymnocorymbus ternetzi

57 Litres (15 US G.)

2.5-5.1cm (1-2 ")




5.8 - 8

20-26.1°C (68 -79 °F)

8-12 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-6 years



This animal is available captive bred

Additional names

Black Tetra, Skirt Tetra, Black Skirt Tetra, Butterfly Tetra, Black Widow Tetra, White Skirt Tetra, Petticoat Tetra, Goldskirt Tetra, Strawberry Tetra, Blueberry Tetra

Additional scientific names

Moenkhausia ternetzi, Tetragonopterus ternetzi


Black widow or Skirt tetra is native to Bolivia, Brazil and northern Argentina where it can be found in the middle and upper water layers or river basins.


Females are slightly bigger than males and have a larger belly. Males have a wider anal fin, and a narrower more pointed dorsal fin.

Tank compatibility[edit]

A peaceful community fish that should be kept in groups of 6 or more. Keep with other peaceful community fish, but nothing with long fins as the Black Widow Tetra may nip, especially if kept in small numbers.


Will accept most foods including pellet and flake as well as live/frozen food such as bloodworm and daphnia.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Keep in a spacious tank with hiding places amongst plants as well as open swimming space. The tank should be mature and well filtered but without too much current. Avoid very bright lights.


A peaceful active shoaling fish.


Tall, oval-shaped and highly compressed they are noted for their curved anal fin which is quite long. It is almost as long as the entire rear half of the body. Two known true colour variations are available, the most well known being the Black Skirt Tetra which has a silver body colour while the fins are mostly black with two or three vertical bands on the body. The White Skirt Tetra lacks colour and the body is white, almost appearing pink, while the fins are mostly translucent. Long-fin varieties of both colours have been bred but are difficult to keep as they will fin-nip amongst themselves.

Special Notes[edit]

This species is one of those fish that is sometimes offered dyed (Many aquarists consider the dying of fish unethical, please read and understand fish dying before purchasing dyed fish). They are often referred to as Fruit Loop Tetras.
A natural variation of the Black Skirt Tetra is also the Petticoat or White Tetra.
There are also 'painted' versions available. These fish are fed particular highly coloured food which alters their body colour. But they quickly loose this colour when taken home.
Although the term "Glofish" refers to genetically modified Danio rerio, a new selection of genetically modified black skirts called "Glo-Tetra" has now become available in the pet trade.



External links[edit]