Austrolebias luteoflammulatus, (Vaz Ferreira, Sierra & Paulete, 1964)


At the time ( 1964) this fish was described by Faz-Ferreira it was placed into the genus Cynolebias and remained there till it was placed by Costa (1998) into Austrolebias.

It is seen as a distinct species that is close related to Austrolebias gymnoventris. The number of dark gray- to black bars on the sides of males can be very variable depending on the population and can vary from 6 to 11. Unique is the colorpattern in males as the posterior part of the flanks are for one third more or less yellow to pale brown.

The image to the right was donated by Tony Terceira, USA and shows a Wild male that was collected by mr. Ariel Bornstein recently in 2007. Detailed data will follow.

The species lives in a small range, near coastal riversystems like Laguna Merin most southeast in Uruguay.

Biotope Austrolebias luteoflammulatus,"Ruta9, KM 205", Department of Rocha, Eastern Uruguay. © Image made and donated by Andrés Tenca, Uruguay.

Biotope Austrolebias luteoflammulatus and A. cheradophilus, "La Paloma", Department of Rocha, Eastern Uruguay. © Image made and donated by Andrés Tenca, Uruguay.

Biotope Austrolebias luteoflammulatus, "La Padrera", Department of Rocha, Eastern Uruguay. © Image made and donated by Andrés Tenca, Uruguay.

Wild male Austrolebias luteoflammulatus, Uruguay. Site 10, S33 39.236 W53 34.860, grassy roadside ditch. © Image made and donated by Tony Terceira, USA.
Austrolebias luteoflammulatus - male. © Image made and donated by Bob Morenski, USA.

In the waters Austrolebias luteoflammulatus occurs, other killi's can be found also. These are: Cynopoecilus melanotaenia, Austrolebias charrua, A. viarius, A. wolterstorffi, A. melanoorus, A. cheradophilus and following Huber in Killi Data Online also A. gymnoventris in some exceptional occasions.


To breed most Austrolebias you need a tank that has about 10 to 25 litre water in it, a small jar or plastic container of about 10 to 15 cm high , a little bit of well boiled peatmoss or coco-peat and a watertemperature between 18 and 24 C. It is wise to add an small filter to that tank and change water on a regularly weekly basis for 90 %. Bring 1 male and, if possible, 2 or more females in the tank and feed the fishes daily with life food like daphnia, red- and black mosquito larvae and white worms. Austrolebias does not accept dry food easily and also heart is not taken if other live food is offered. If possible breed this genus in bigger tanks with more than one pair or trio and give some hiding places if you do so. In case of breeding with more than one male you also should provide more than one spawning container. Every male must have one and you will see they show nice territorial behaviour to attract females into there own spawning place.

The male flinders around the female, displaying his fins high- up with most intense colours. As the female is willing to spawn she follows the male that is pressing his head towards the layer of peat and as the female contact the belly of the male both of them dive into the peat layer. This layer should have a thickness of at least the length of the biggest animal or better some deeper so they can dive completely into it.

The spawning take place during the whole fertile life of the fishes, starting at 5 to 6 weeks of age till they become old and weak or die by the lack of water in there natural environment. This will be within 8 to 11 months, depending on the temperature . Higher temperatures will trigger more rapid aging.

In the wild Austrolebias lives in cool environments during the wintertime. Temperatures in Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina can get very low. Incubation time is normally 6 weeks if stored at high temperatures ( 25 C.) and longer if kept at lower temperatures. The development can take that 5 tot 6 months also. So it is wise to check the eggs on a regularly basis to see if the eyes inside the eggs are fully developed and the iris is good visible. If eyed- up, put a part of the peat with the eggs in water that has an cool (ca. 18 C) temperature. If the fry hatches normally and swim within a few hours you also wet the rest of the peat. After hatching I feed the fry immediately with Artemia nauplii. A day or so later I pour the water together with the fry off and place them in well filtered tank without any peatmoss to grow up. Austrolebias are not used to strong currents and juveniles can die if turbulece is to strong.The remaining peat will still have eggs inside that are not ready to hatch. You can repack the peat and store it for some extra time. This is nature's answer on short rain showers that fill pools only temporarily followed by another dry period. Such an event would kill the complete population of the species in that area if all eggs would have hatched with first rains. These (late) eggs will hatch later, sometimes very much later, and the older ones will eat these youngs.

As stated before, young’s are growing fast and will produce their first eggs after 5 to 6 weeks already, if not even sooner. This breeding information is applicable to most Austrolebias. If the above Austrolebias- species do have an different behaviour you will find below in this chapter under <remarks>.


No breeding reports on A. luteoflammulatus are written yet as far as I can figure out. Perhaps some of you do have experience with this species. Please tell me more by mail.




Max. size 5.5 cm.
Dorsal 24.0,
Anal 22.0,
D/A -4.5,
LL scale count (average) 28.5
Pre- dorsal length to % SL – 43.9 %
Depth to % SL – 34.3 %

Vaz-Ferreira, R., B. Sierra & S.S. Paulete. 1964. Tres especies nuevas del Genero Cynolebias Steindachner, 1876 (teleostomi, Cyprinodontidae). Com. Zool. Mus. Hist. Montevideo, 8 (102): pls. 1-2.