The Wolf Pack

Scientific Name:  Erythrinus erythrinus


Known Common or Trade Names: Rainbow Wolffish, Red Wolffish, Hi-fin Wolffish.
It is important to understand that common names can be applied to many individual species and does not guarantee the correct identification of the fish in question.

Original Description:  Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Distribution: A wide distribution across the northern parts of South America including Peru, French Guiana, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil.

Size: Erythrinus are the smallest members of the group with Erythrinus erythrinus reaching 25cm total length although usually a little smaller.

Description:  Erythrinus erythrinus are a small stocky wolf fish resembling a sausage in shape, It’s a colourful fish and depending on mode can display strong colouring. See the site gallery to see some examples of this Erythrinus erythrinus gallery  They are usually a grey to brown fish with a dark stripe from the gills to the caudal fin. As the fish matures it shows strong orange colouring alone its flanks and along the top of the dorsal fin and the edges of the tail.  

Juvenile Description: Juveniles are usually slimmer in profile and show less of the bright colouring usually just the grey body with the black stripe down the length of the body. The colouring and shape resembles a female Rivulus killifish and is thought to encourage males to come near and reach an untimely end.

Sexual Differences: Unknown, Although I have seen a very large specimen with a humped head which I suspect to be a male.

Water Parameters:  An unfussy fish that is fine to be kept in  variety of perameters, temperature 22c - 26c and a PH of 6.5 - 8

Tanks size: 90cm x 30cm x 30cm as a minimum for an adult, 120cm x 40cm x 40cm will encourage a more outgoing fish and will enable you to keep other fish with them.

Suggested Tanks setup:  Erythrinus erythrinus live in slower well structured environments, swamps, pools, lake edges and enjoy a well planted or structured environment including roots etc. as a minimum a pipe should be provided, as a small fish in the wild there are plenty of bigger predators that will eat them and all of this will help the Erythrinus to feel comfortable and settled.

Conspecific aggression: Erythinus erythrinus are well known to be intolerant of there own or closely related species and will usually end in the death of the fish concerned.

Compatibility: Apart from their own species Erythrinus erythrinus can be kept with other fish species as long as they are not small enough to eat or don’t present a territorial threat e.g. aggressive Cichlids.

Preferred Diet:  Erythrinus erythrinus are unfussy eaters and will consume all sorts of meaty foods including fish meats, Mussels,shrimps and  other invertebrates. They will also eat fried foods including carnivore based pellets.

Breeding: Unknown


Availability: A commonly available species that has been available for some time.

Additional Info: There is another un described species, Erythrynus Sp. Peru that is sometimes sold under the same common names, This fish is a little smaller and less out going but still a great alternative.

Author: Stephen Cousins 2011