Ctenolucius hujeta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Superfamily: Erythrinoidea
Family: Ctenoluciidae


Ctenoluciidae (meaning "comb light family"), also known as pike-characins, is a small family of freshwater fishes from Panama and South America.

They have elongate, pike-like bodies, and several sharp and conical teeth. They are relatively large (up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length), predatory fish.[1]

Some of these fish, such as Ctenolucius hujeta, enter the aquarium fish hobby, often being labeled a "Freshwater Barracuda" or "Freshwater Needlefish", descriptions of fish that are both unrelated to members of this family.


There are only two genera and seven species in this group:[2]

Family Ctenoluciidae

  • Genus Boulengerella
    • Boulengerella cuvieri
    • Boulengerella lateristriga - Striped pike-characin
    • Boulengerella lucius - Golden pike-characin
    • Boulengerella maculata - Spotted pike-characin
    • Boulengerella xyrekes
  • Genus Ctenolucius
    • Ctenolucius beani
    • Ctenolucius hujeta - Gar characin


  1. ^ Weitzman, S.H. & Vari, R.P. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N.. ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 102. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Ctenoluciidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.