Bird Families

Ornatus - a phantom fish


Titration (Latin Tityridae) is a family of passerine birds from the suborder Tyranni, whose representatives are found in the Neotropical region. It includes 45 species that previously belonged to the families of tyrannous, manakin and citing. The size ranges from 9.5 centimeters and 10 grams for the yellow-necked plume cottinga to 22 centimeters and 88 grams for the cloaked titira. Most species have relatively long tails and large heads.


Traditionally, awliya were included in the tyrannous family, plumed cotings, shrike cotting, tityras, beckards, and white-headed xenopsaris in cotting, and selvian manakins in manakin. Three genera: tityres, beckards and white-headed xenopsaris were later placed in the tyrannous family based on the morphology of their skull and syrinx (lower larynx).

The existence of the Tityridae family (which was simply regarded as a clade) was first predicted in 1989 based on the morphology of syrinx and skeletal features. Its existence was later confirmed by numerous studies using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. The data indicate that there are two groups in this family, the first of which includes jungle manakins, aulias, and shrike cots (with a high bootstrap index), and the second includes plume cots, titers, white-headed xenopsaris and beckards (with a low bootstrap index).


As of February 2018, the family includes 11 genera and 45 species:

  • Genus Iodopleura R. Lesson, 1839 - Plume cotings
    • Iodopleura fusca (Vieillot, 1817) - White-browed plume cottinga
    • Iodopleura isabellae Parzudaki, 1847 - Black-headed plume cottinga
    • Iodopleura pipra (R. Lesson, 1831) - Yellow-throated plume cottinga
  • Genus Laniisoma Swainson, 1832 - Shrike Cotings
    • Laniisoma buckleyi (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1880)
    • Laniisoma elegans (Thunberg, 1823) - Shrike Cottinga
  • Genus Laniocera R. Lesson, 1841 - Aulii
    • Laniocera hypopyrra (Vieillot, 1817) - Gray aulia
    • Laniocera rufescens (P. L. Sclater, 1858) - Reddish aulia
  • Genus Myiobius G. R. Gray, 1839 - Myobis
    • Myiobius atricaudus Lawrence, 1863 - Black-tailed myobis, or black-tailed tyrant
    • Myiobius barbatus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Yellow-tailed myobis
    • Myiobius sulphureipygius (P. L. Sclater, 1857)
    • Myiobius villosus P. L. Sclater, 1860 - Red-brown myobis
  • Genus Onychorhynchus Fischer von Waldheim, 1810 - Crowned fly-eaters, or royal fly-eaters
    • Onychorhynchus coronatus (Statius Müller, 1776) - Amazonian crowned fly-eater, or Amazonian royal fly-eater
    • Onychorhynchus mexicanus (P. L. Sclater, 1857) - Northern crowned fly beetle, or northern royal fly beetle
    • Onychorhynchus occidentalis (P. L. Sclater, 1860)
    • Onychorhynchus swainsoni (Pelzeln, 1858)
  • Genus Oxyruncus Temminck, 1820 - Sharpbeaks
    • Oxyruncus cristatus Swainson, 1821 - Razorbeak
  • Genus Pachyramphus G. R. Gray, 1839 - Beckards
    • Pachyramphus aglaiae (Lafresnaye, 1839) - Great Beckard
    • Pachyramphus albogriseus P. L. Sclater 1857 - Magpie beckard
    • Pachyramphus castaneus (Jardine & Selby, 1827) - Chestnut Beckard
    • Pachyramphus cinnamomeus Lawrence, 1861 - Brown Beckard
    • Pachyramphus homochrous P. L. Sclater, 1859
    • Pachyramphus major (Cabanis, 1847) - Mexican Beckard
    • Pachyramphus marginatus (Lichtenstein, 1823) - Black-capped beckard
    • Pachyramphus minor (R. Lesson, 1831) - Red-throated Beckard
    • Pachyramphus niger (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) - Jamaican Beckard
    • Pachyramphus polychopterus (Vieillot, 1818) - Finch beckard
    • Pachyramphus rufus (Boddaert, 1783) - Gray beckard
    • Pachyramphus spodiurus P. L. Sclater, 1860 - Slate beckard
    • Pachyramphus surinamus (Linnaeus, 1766) - Surinamese Beckard
    • Pachyramphus validus (Lichtenstein, 1823) - Crested Beckard
    • Pachyramphus versicolor (Hartlaub, 1843) - Striped beckard
    • Pachyramphus viridis (Vieillot, 1816) - Greenback Beckard
    • Pachyramphus xanthogenys Salvadori & Festa, 1898
  • Genus Schiffornis Bonaparte, 1854 - Selva manakins
    • Schiffornis aenea J. T. Zimmer, 1936
    • Schiffornis major Des Murs, 1856 - Large jungle manakin
    • Schiffornis olivacea (Ridgway, 1906)
    • Schiffornis stenorhyncha (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1869)
    • Schiffornis turdina (zu Wied-Neuwied, 1831) - Bronze jungle manakin
    • Schiffornis veraepacis (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1860)
    • Schiffornis virescens (Lafresnaye, 1838) - Monochrome jungle manakin
  • Genus Terenotriccus Ridgway, 1905 - Red-tailed fly lice
    • Terenotriccus erythrurus (Cabanis, 1847) - Red-tailed fly beetle
  • Genus Tityra Vieillot, 1816 - Tityres
    • Tityra cayana (Linnaeus, 1766) - Black-tailed titer
    • Tityra inquisitor (Lichtenstein, 1823) - Black-headed titer
    • Tityra semifasciata (von Spix, 1825) - Masked titer
  • Genus Xenopsaris Ridgway, 1891 - White-headed Xenopsaris
    • Xenopsaris albinucha (Burmeister, 1869) - White-headed Xenopsaris

In addition to the species listed above, Swallow Cottinga and Caliptura may be found in this family, however, due to a lack of rigorous scientific evidence, they are considered by reputable experts such as the American Society of Ornithologists as incertae sedis.

General information

Ornatus are a combined group of freshwater ray-finned fish from the Kharacin family. These small schooling species live in Central and South America. Popular aquarium inhabitants are valued for their beauty, as well as unpretentious maintenance and reproduction.

The second common name for ornatus is "phantom". This name is associated with the structure of their body.It is strongly flattened from the sides, translucent (sometimes you can see the internal organs). Such a device allows the fish to effectively hide from predators, disguising themselves as the environment.

The first ornatus came to the aquarium hobbyists in the 30s of the XX century.


All ornatus have a similar body shape. It is high, strongly flattened laterally, tapering at the tail. Sizes range from 4 to 7 cm. The body is translucent, often you can even see the insides of the fish.

The caudal fin is two-lobed and relatively high. The anal stretches from the middle of the body to the tail. The dorsal fin is high, especially in males. There is a rounded adipose fin characteristic of all haracin.

The color is varied, depending on the type it can be: red, pink, almost black, silver. Many species have dark spots behind the operculums. A faint black stripe passes through the eye.

Life expectancy is 3-5 years.


Ornatus are inhabitants of South America, they live mainly in the Amazon basin. They prefer calm reservoirs without a strong current, densely overgrown with plants. The water here is acidic and soft, has a brownish tint due to the high content of humic substances, which are formed as a result of decay of leaf litter in tropical rainforests.

Ornatus ordinary (Hyphessobrycon bentosi)

Also known as gourmet tetra. Widely distributed in the tributaries of the Amazon. It has a predominantly pink color with varying degrees of intensity, which depends on the region of origin and conditions of detention.

The pelvic, anal and caudal fins have reddish stripes, the tip of the dorsal fin is black. In nature, it feeds on small invertebrates.

It must be kept in flocks of at least 6 individuals. The recommended volume of the aquarium is from 60 liters. Peaceful fish, it gets along beautifully with species of similar size.

Ornatus ordinary

White-finned Ornatus (Hyphessobrycon bentosi var. "White Fin")

It is a breeding form of the common bird. Its appearance is associated with the name of the German breeder Gunel. It has become widespread since the early 2000s.

It has a beautiful coloration: a silvery body with contrasting fins, which are colored red. The dorsal fin has a wide milky edging, and at the base it is also red. The first rays of the anal and pectoral fins are white.

The content is gregarious, the minimum volume of the aquarium is from 60 liters. Peaceful character.

White-finned Ornatus

Ornatus red (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)

It occurs naturally in South America, in the Orinoco River basin. A small fish with a maximum body length of about 3 cm. The body shape is typical for ornatus. The scales are light pink, the color is more intense on the back, the abdomen is golden. The fins are bright red. Males of the red ornathus have an elongated dorsal fin with a black tip. A dark spot is located behind the gills, which is more pronounced in females.

Peaceful schooling fish. For maintenance, you need an aquarium of 60 liters or more.

Ornatus red

Black Ornatus (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)

Occurs in the upper reaches of the Paraguay River, the Guaporé River Basin (South America). The body color of the fish varies from dark gray to almost black. All fins, with the exception of the pectorals, are deep black. Behind the gills there is a pronounced black spot with a purple edging.

Young males and females are similarly colored. Their scales are reddish brown.

The recommended volume of the aquarium is from 60 liters. It is necessary to keep in flocks: 6 or more individuals.

Ornatus black

Pink Ornatus (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus)

Resident of the Amazon Basin. In appearance and color, it is very similar to the common bird, so confusion often arises. The fish has pinkish scales with black spots on the fins, the tips of which are white.

It is necessary to purchase at least 6 individuals, only in a flock do the fish feel comfortable. An aquarium from 60 liters with dense thickets of plants is suitable for keeping. The character is calm, gets along well with peaceful proportionate fish.

Ornatus pink

Care and maintenance

In nature, ornatus live in large flocks, in some there are up to 50 individuals. Therefore, it is also necessary to get at least 6 fish, and preferably 8-10. A 60 liter aquarium is enough to keep a minimum flock. It is better to choose sandy or small pebble soil. Natural decorations - driftwood and stones are perfect. It is recommended to plant aquarium plants along the walls of the aquarium, leaving a place for swimming in the center.

Ornatus in an aquarium with live plants

Ornatus do not like bright lighting, it is recommended to use floating plants to dim it. Filtration should be good, but no strong flow. You will also need a compressor to aerate the water and a thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Ornatus flock

Water changes of up to 20% of the aquarium volume are required once a week. To create conditions as close to natural as possible, it is recommended to add natural peat extract - Tetra ToruMin to the water.

Optimum water parameters for the content: T = 23-28 ° C, pH = 6.0-7.5, GH = 5-18.


Ornatus are extremely peaceful and non-conflict fish. Occasionally, skirmishes can be observed within the pack, but they do not pose any danger.

Good neighbors for them can be: other representatives of the haracin family - neons, thorns, rhodostomuses, peaceful cichlids - apistograms, scalars, small carp: zebrafish, rasbora, microrabs, some labyrinths, for example, lalius, gourami, peaceful viviparous fish - platies, sword-bearers , mollies.

Care must be taken with cockerels and observe the interaction of fish in the aquarium, it happens that active phantoms bite their fins. With large predatory cichlids, cohabitation must be excluded.

Ornatusa get along well with fish of similar size.

Ornatus feeding

In the aquarium, ornatus fish eat high-quality dry food with great pleasure. It is better to refuse live and frozen ones, because they are not balanced and carry the risk of contamination of the aquarium with infections.

Fish have a small mouth, so the size of the food should be appropriate. The most suitable options for feeding phantoms are as follows:

  1. TetraMin is the staple food for all ornamental fish. Possesses high nutritional value and easily digestible components. Supports healthy growth and vitality of fish, as well as bright colors. You can choose between flakes and mini-pellets.
  2. To enhance and maintain the red color of some species, feed with natural color enhancers, such as TetraPro Color, must be present in the diet. The result is seen after several weeks of daily feeding.
  3. Tetra Micro Crisps are mini-chips designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of small fish. The food is presented in two colors of slowly dipping chips: green for maintaining health and vitality, red with natural carotenoids to enhance the natural color.

When keeping ornatus, overfeeding should be avoided, it can negatively affect the health of the fish and lead to an imbalance in the aquarium. The food should be eaten by the fish in a few minutes.

You can diversify the feeding of your pets with the help of tasty and nutritious treats from the Tetra FreshDelica series, for example, daphnia and bloodworms, very beloved by phantoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Ornatus are easy-breeding fish. To do this, you need a small aquarium of 20 liters or more with a water level of about 15 cm. A separator mesh or a large number of small-leaved plants is placed on the bottom.The water in the spawning tank should be a couple of degrees warmer, softer and more acidic than in the main tank.

A couple of weeks before spawning, it is advisable to plant the producers and feed them abundantly.

After landing in a spawning aquarium, the ornatus begins a courtship process that lasts up to 3 days. After that, the female spawns from 100 to 400 eggs, which fall to the bottom. At the end of the process, the producers are returned to the main aquarium. Next, the spawning box should be shaded, providing for weak aeration.

Incubation lasts 36-48 hours, after which larvae hatch, feeding on the yolk sac for another 3-4 days. Further, the fish must be fed every 2-3 hours.

Ornatusa reach sexual maturity at the age of 8-10 months.