Red Tail Payara Vampire Tetra (Hydrolycus scomberoides), also known as Vampire Tetra, is a predatory species of dogtooth tetra that can be found swimming in the tropical waters of the Amazon Basin as they actively hunt for their next meal. Payara fish are born with gaps in their upper jaw to accommodate their razor-sharp fangs. These fangs are very sharp and they are designed to kill their prey. These sword-like fangs can reach up to six inches long. The long silver body of a Payara fish is very powerful. They go after schools of fish, latching onto their prey with a sudden strike.
Red Tail Payara Vampire Tetra were first discovered in 1918 by Georges Cuvier, a French naturalist and zoologist. The scientific name Hydrolycus scomberoides originated from the Greek words: “hydro” meaning water, “lykos” meaning wolf, and “scombros” meaning tuna. The Payara Fish are easy to spot amongst the other genus – the side of their tail and pectoral fins feature a dark spot and a large, bony face that sneakily conceals their gills. Payara fish belong to the Dogtooth Characins family. They are often mistaken for Hydrolycus armatus since they look similar, but they are not the same species of fish.
Red Tail Payara Vampire Tetra vibrate their swim bladder to create various sounds for communication with other Payaras. They communicate to warn others of possible dangers or to attract a potential mate.
Over the years, Red Tail Payara Vampire Tetra has earned several nicknames due to their unique appearance. These nicknames include Vampire Tetra, Sabre Tooth Tetra, Vampire Fish, Sabre Tooth Piranha, Vampire Piranha, Sabre Tusk Barracuda, Sabre Tooth Barracuda, and Dog Tooth Characin.
The shipping size is 3.5 – 4 inches