In the brackish, coastal waters of the Amazon river, a micro-predator searches for small invertebrates. The x-ray tetra is a diminutive, colorful fish outfitted with a peculiar form of camouflage. The South American native is transparent so it blends in with the dense vegetation and sparkling water. The backbone and a red body-sack containing the internal organs are perfectly visible through a translucent layer of skin. This living x-ray photograph is an efficient omnivore that skims along the river bed hunting for worms, insects and tiny shrimp.
X-ray tetras are extremely social and like to be active in large schools. They are considered extremely peaceful creatures because they are so tolerant of the other species that share their habitat. Their hardiness and adaptability have made x-ray tetras one of the most popular types of tropical fish kept in household aquariums today. It should be noted, though, most tetras in the pet trade have not been extracted from the wild but instead have been raised on commercial fish farms in the Far East and then exported to the United States.