prochilodus ID question


Arowana blogger
Here is a question from a BCAquaria member:

"just wondering if anyone know the physical differences between Semaprochilodus taeniurus and prochilodus insignis!?"

Any ideas?


Super Moderator
Very good question. I also heard there was one species which gros big and one doesn't. I am really confuse, any Fei Feng expert can clear this out?
Yuppa would be the resident FF expert around here, prob knows more than most as I do believe he has written a couple of articles on them and studied them for sometime


New Member
Taeniurus = No red in the top fin
Insignis = Red in top fin

That's really the only difference between the two. Some may say that Insignis don't grow as big as Taerinus, but my personal view is different. I have one of each in my tank currently. Pookie being Insignis, Zeitgeist being Taeniurus

Previously I'd heard that Insignis reach about 9" long tops; but Pookie is about 15", so that's why my view is slightly askew from the more general opinion.


Super Moderator
I am in the process of updating a phoenix article i wrote years ago with new information.

to keep things simply however, heres a *general* rule of thumb.

no color at all on fins/stripes - fake insignius, 6-8"

orange top fin? probably insignius or one of the other species. I have not seen an exceptionally large FF with orange top fin. probably insignius
spotted body = insignius or sub species, 10" average -> max size

no spots on body, no orange top fin, probably true taeniurus , known to hit 24"


Super Moderator
That pic is of my phoenix, granpa, and yes that is the taenarius

the "yellow fin" posted below, could either be a very pale taenarius, or more likely one of the colorless taenarius.. I had a bunch of those, very pale, almost no color at all on them
not even sure if its taenarius.. I call them fake FF
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New Member
Hi Yuppa...I purchase these guys at Big Al's and I was told that it was a flagtail prochilodus, but they have no color on the tails or the fins, but they have the spots on the tail end goint to the have info or know a site about these guys??? here's some pics....




Super Moderator
hi, I have raised a batch of those as well..
I was told they would get color, however after a couple years and very healthy growth ( to about 8") they still had no color..
I ended up trading them all away years ago..

I think the spots on body on yours are because they are so small.. larger ones will have pure silver body..

still a nice phoenix, they do the cleaning job of a phoenix anyways, but yeah not the vibrant colors of the true FF


New Member
I've heard there are also the yellow fin that they are settled I could see that the tail is a bit yellowish, but It might be because of my substrate which is is yellowish sand...Did your group got aggressive towards each other cause people are saying that you can't keep them in a group..I have 6 right now and I see them chasing each other here and there, but nothing serious....


Super Moderator
yeah a bit of a yellow tinge to their tail is the most color i ever saw as well.

grouping, same as any other phoenix, the group picks on the weakest untill it finally die, then the next weakest ect...

that being said, i had granpa (Large phoenix) mixxed with same yellow tail phoenix as you have, they were rather small.. granpa kept them from beating each other, but didnt pick on them.. they did quite well..