Pepper Corydoras (Paleatus Corydoras)
Pepper Corydoras (Paleatus Corydoras)

Pepper Corydoras (Paleatus Corydoras)

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Pepper corys are small, peaceful fish that can help keep the bottom of your tank sparkling clean. They're also fun, interesting pets that can vocalize during courtship. Another habit they have is "winking" at their owners; their articulated eyes allow them to tilt the eye down and back up without moving the head.

Pepper corys are native to South America, where they were first discovered by Charles Darwin during his well-known travels aboard the HMS Beagle during the 1830s. Their home includes the rivers and streams of the Río de la Plata Basin, which is one of the world’s largest river basins. Peppers have been found in rivers, streams, and small lakes in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Suriname, and Uruguay. They are among the earliest fish to be captive-bred for the aquarium trade, having first been bred in captivity in Paris, France, in 1878.

The scientific name for this fish is derived from the Latin words cory (meaning helmet), doras (meaning skin), and palea (meaning chaff or strips of metal foil), a reference to their natural coloration. Pepper corys remain one of the most commonly seen, and most popular, of the Corydoras genus in the aquarium trade. Most specimens sold in shops are captive bred by commercial breeders in Florida and Asia.