a genus of fishes of the family Characinidae of the order Cypriniformes. There are two species, the neon tetra (Hyphessobricon innesi) and the cardinal tetra (N. cardinalis). The females, which measure 4—4.5 cm long, are somewhat larger than the males. A luminescent bright blue band extends from the eye along the entire body. The lower part of the body, from the midsection to the caudal fin, is red; the abdomen is white. The red coloration of the cardinal tetra is more intense and covers the entire abdomen. Neon and cardinal tetras inhabit the Ucayali River and the upper Rio Negro, which are tributaries of the Amazon. These fishes are often kept in aquariums.
REFERENCESIl’in, M. N. Akvariumnoe rybovodstvo. Moscow, 1968.
Vogel, Z. Akvarijni rybky, 2nd ed. Prague, 1965.