Vampire Tetra (Hydrolycus scomberoides)

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Vampire Tetra

Hydrolycus scomberoides34537.jpg
Vampire Tetra

Hydrolycus scomberoides

946 Litres (250 US G.)

63.5-76.2cm (25-30 ")




6.0 - 8.0

23.9-27.8°C (75 -82 °F)

8-15 °d

1:2 M:F

Live Foods
Other (See article)

5-12 years



Additional names

Vampire Tetra, Sabretooth Tetra, Payara, Sabre Tooth Piranha, Vampire Piranha, Sabre Tusk Barracuda, Sabre Tooth Barracuda, Vampire Fish

Additional scientific names

Hydrolycus payara, Hydrolycus pectoralis


Originates from S. America including the Rio Orosa in Peru.[1]


Difficult to sex visually.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Should only be kept with fish of equal or larger size. Anything smaller will be eaten. May be best housed in species tanks alone to avoid injuries. Lives in loose shoals in the wild when juvenile but becomes solitary as it matures.


Predatory fish, will take most meaty foods including shrimp and silversides. In the wild they predate on other fish including Piranha. May take some time to wean on to dead food and as an adult they may become exclusively piscavorous.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Needs a well filtered and oxygenated tank with a strong current to thrive. Can be a messy fish so regular water changes are a must. Does not need much in the way of decor, needs plenty of open swimming space and some caves.


A predatory and potentially aggressive fish.


A large and elongated fish with an equally large and upturned mouth with many visible teeth. Colouration is iridescent silver with mostly transparent fins, occasionally the fins may have a black border to them.



External links[edit]