[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Index by Month]

Re: A. kleei

OK, I'll give everyone a little history about this fish. But first I want
everyone to continue using A. bitaeniata for it until we have a better handle
on this question.

        In 1936 Dr. Jacques Pellegrin described Apistogramma pertense
bitaeniata, now called A. bitaeniata. Pellegrin based his description on 1 of 2
specimens that were collected in 1934 from the Rio Madeira of Brazil by "M.
Rabot" [assumed to be a misspelling of Auguste Rabaut's name]. In the 1930s
Rabaut collected fish for the aquarium trade in South America, particularly
around Leticia, Colombia. He is most famous for discovering the Neon Tetra
(Paracheirodon innesi), but introduced many other fish to the hobby. The last
paragraph of Pellegrin's description is translated here because it is important
to the problem:

"In a recent American magazine there was mentioned and pictured under the name
Apistogramma U2 a small male (?) cichlid from the Amazon Basin with 3(?)
elongated spines in the anterior part of the dorsal.  This fish is certainly
different from the form described here, which is 'a very pretty fish', a very
pretty fish deserving the attention of aquarists."

The magazine in question is Aquarium Magazine by W. T. Innes. The picture is
reproduced in Innes' classic book, "Exotic Aquarium Fishes".
        In his 1980 monograph Kullander wrote that, "The syntypes of A.
bitaeniata are in poore (sic) condition, more or less faded, with damaged fins.
In general they agree with the wild material [that he examined from Peru]
although they are very large." Because of this Kullander based his
redescription of A. bitaeniata on a lectotype (a new type specimen used to
replace a holotype that is lost or in poor condition). Kullander's lectotype of
A. bitaeniata comes from Colombia near Leticia.
        Kullander was also uncomfortable with the Rio Madeira type locality
because it was so very far from any (then) known locality for the species. He

"The syntypes very probably did not come from the R. Madeira, the locality
given by Pellegrin (1936). Rabaut collected in the Leticia area (Comisaria
Amazonas, Colombia), where he found the Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi
(Myers)), which seems to be restricted to the R. Amazonas in Peru and upper R.
Solimões affluents. The collecting sites of this species were long kept secret
by the first commercial fish collectors that exploited it to prevent
competition. If A. bitaeniata was collected in the same region, it then seems
natural that neither it was labelled with the correct locality. The rediscovery
of the species in the upper Solimões adds support to the theory that the
syntypes also came from that area, but of course the R. Madeira is
insufficiently investigated ichthyologically, and the occurrence of A.
bitaeniata also in that system is not entirely impossible, only very unlikely.
The suggested emendation of the type-locality is equivalent to a description of
the area explored by Rabaut."

        In his description Kullander also comments on A. sp. U2:

"This species appears to be identical with the Apistogramma "U2", thought to be
A. cacatuoides by Hoedeman (1951), and Meinken (1961 b; as A. borellii).
Pellegrin (1936), referring to a photograph that I have not seen (Aquarium
Philadelphia 2 (1):11, 1933), considered the "U2" as being a different species.
The retouched photograph in Innes (1966) shows a male and a female that I do
not hesitate to assign to A. bitaeniata [= lectotype]."

        In 1998 Koslowski published an article on Apistogramma imports from
Porto Velho. Porto Velho, Brazil is located on the upper Rio Madeira and has
become a recent locus for new fish exports. Among the fish exported from Porto
Velho was a single juvenile specimen of a bitaeniata-like form. It was a female
in very poor condition and died before reaching sexual maturity.  Still
Koslowski (2002) writes (translation):

"... it certainly has a second lateral band on the lower half of the body,
typical of A. bitaeniata, but it deviates from the norm."

He considers it a different species, but one closely related to A. bitaeniata.
He calls it A. cf. bitaeniata (Porto Velho). We have 3 problems with this fish:
1.) we don't know exactly where it came from, 2.) we don't know what an adult
fish looks like, and 3.) we don't know how its poor condition affects the
features of the fish. Fish exported from Porto Velho are collected from the
Brazilian parts of the middle to upper Madeira, including the Rio Mamoré &
Guaporé, as well as the upper Purus. It most likely is from the Madeira system
but can't be sure until we find more. If it does come from the Madeira it is
very rare. For all we know it is a contaminant from another location. Both age
and condition can alter the physical features of a fish. Could we be looking at
a specimen of the typical A. bitaeniata that looks different only because it
was so small and diseased?

Now let's look at the problem we have with A. bitaeniata:
Pellegrin described the species from 1 male of 2 syntypes; Kullander described
it using a lectotype.
Pellegrin believed that the original syntypes came from the Madeira; Kullander
did not. His lectotype comes from around Leticia, Colombia over 1000 miles away
- where Rabaut collected most of his fish.
Pellegrin believed his syntypes are not the same as Innes' U2; Kullander
believed U2 was the same as his lectotype of A. bitaeniata.
Koslowski's A. cf. bitaeniata (Porto Velho) indicates that there is a good
chance that a bitaeniata-like fish does inhabit the Madeira system. After all,
we now know for certain that A. bitaeniata occurs throughout the Rio Solimões
(the part of Amazon in Brazil extending west of the Rio Negro) and even into
the lower Rio Negro. The mouth of the Madeira isn't that far east of the Negro.

        The questions we need to answer are:
            1) Did the original type material come from the Madeira?
            2) Are the original type specimens the same species as Kullander's
            3) Is Koslowski's A. cf. bitaeniata (Porto Velho) actually a
different, closely related species?
        Let's assume the worst (for us aquarists). Pellegrin's syntypes
actually come from the Madeira & are the same as Koslowski's A. cf. bitaeniata.
If this is true that means that Koslowski's cf. bitaeniata is the true A.
bitaeniata, leaving the presently recognized lectotype form of A. bitaeniata
needing a new name. We will not know for sure without more information.

Mike Wise

David Sanchez wrote:

> Mike W
> "The strange thing about this species is that the fish
> that we presently call 'A. bitaeniata' might not be
> A. bitateniata. The more I learn, the lessI
> realize I know!"
> Yikes what do you mean! Man am I confused now. Could
> you elaborate a bit.
> Dave
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@listbox.com.
> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
> email apisto-request@listbox.com. apisto-digest@listbox.com also available.
> Web archives at http://lists.thekrib.com/apisto
> Trading at http://blox.dropship.org/mailman/listinfo/apisto_trader

This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@listbox.com.
For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
email apisto-request@listbox.com. apisto-digest@listbox.com also available.
Web archives at http://lists.thekrib.com/apisto
Trading at http://blox.dropship.org/mailman/listinfo/apisto_trader