The X-ray tetra, scientifically known as the pristella maxillaris, is a small schooling fish naturally found in Brazil, Guiana, Guyana and Venezuela. They have a silver body with a red tail, and black-and-yellow striped fins.
The X-ray tetra is also known as the golden pristella Tetra, or water goldfinch. They are omnivores and hunt insects, worms and small crustaceans. They only live about 2 to 5 years and are independent from their parents at birth. They lay 300 to 400 eggs at a time and have a 24-hour incubation period. Although they do not rely on their parents for survival, they are schooling fish and spend their lives with other X-ray tetra.
When kept as pets they should not be kept with larger predatory fish, but should be kept with other X-ray tetra. They are good for keeping in aquariums, as they are social fish and do not prey on other smaller fish. They tend to live longer in captivity when properly kept. The main threat to the pristella maxillaris is pollution and habitat loss. Although they have many natural predators, including larger fish, frogs, and even birds and snakes, loss of habitat is what most threatens their numbers in the wild.