Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThis fish has a flat body and very long pectoral fins. Its yellowish green sides have metallic flashes. The colour of its black-spotted back varies from brownish grey to olive green. A dark line runs along its side. Its belly is marked with irregular vertical bands. ReproductionAfter a frenetic mating ritual, the female lays her eggs near the surface. The eggs do not adhere much to vegetation and hatch within about 30 hours. This species is difficult to breed in captivity, probably because of a lack of suitable food (insects, for instance). DietThey feed on insects living on the water's surface. PredatorsTheir enemies are birds and other fish. Humans also damage the species by discharging toxic waste into waterways (mining and forestry industries) and by catching them for sale to aquarists. HabitatThey live in schools near the surface of deeply shaded forest streams. They are found from western Guyana to the lower reaches of the Amazon. Ecology, behaviourThese peaceful fish live in schools near the surface. When they use their pectoral fins to leap out of the water, their fins produce a humming sound. Such leaps are rarely longer than 1.5 metres, but these fish have been observed "flying" 90 cm above the water. It seems that they leap out of the water to escape their predators. Before taking flight, a hatchetfish may hydroplane for more than 10 metres. French namePoisson-hachette marbré Scientific nameCarnegiella strigataPhylumChordataClassOsteichthyes (bony fish)OrderCharaciformesFamilyGasteropelecidaeSizeLength: 4.5 cmStatusCommon species, commercially exploited for sale to aquarists.