Fish Species at

Marbled Hatchetfish

These small, unique fish are perfect for a densely planted aquarium.

By David A. Lass |

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The marbled hatchetfish (Carnegiella strigata) is a lovely little fish that is not that common in the aquarium hobby. Once you see this gem — or any other hatchetfish for that matter — you will never forget the fish. They are sometimes confused with C. marthae, a similar fish that goes by the common name of blackwing hatchetfish.

Marbled hatchetfish typically reach only 1 to 1.5 inches in length, and they are extremely laterally compressed fish. The reason for the common name is obvious the first time you ever see one from the side — its body really does look like a little hatchet. The tail is the handle, and the body is the blade. The basic body color is burnished silver with random black stripes or blotches over the entire body. Its fins are clear, and the pectoral fins are long and curved. These fins allow the marbled hatchetfish to soar out of the water. They are accomplished jumpers that should always be kept in a tank with a complete cover.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the September 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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