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Re: Ang: Re: sp Mortentaler


I've written about this before, but I guess it bears repeating. The problem with multiple names for apistos is due to their increasing popularity. Most new
killifish are collected by hobbyists who are willing to provide location data. Unlike killies, where commercial collecting is almost negligible, most new
apistos enter the hobby thorough commercial collectors. These businessmen have a financial stake in keeping collecting sites secret & generally do not provide
collecting locales. But this is the same for Corydoras & Loricarids who use the C & L numbers. In these we have seen some duplication of numbers, but for the
most part most of the catfish authors have accepted them. Unfortunately this isn't the case for apisto authors.

In the early days of the Apistogramma Study Group we had a system of numbers (ASG Numbers). A. agassizii, for example, was ASG-1. We used numbers because we
were never certain if the species it was named actually was that species. Before 1980 most apisto descriptions insufficient to determine which of our apistos
were scientifically described species. Another problem was that there we had color forms of the same species that had different numbers. Other ASG numbers were
given to fish for which we have no photos or preserved specimens. We still are not sure what some of these fish are today. Without reference photos the numbers
got very confusing. Fortunately Kullander stepped in and redescribed most of the early species, synonymizing many of them. As we got better books & photographs
for identifying species, the ASG finally gave up on the system & went to species names. This is when we only had 30 - 35 different forms. I personally do not
like a numbering system because it tells us nothing about the fish - where it comes from, any distinguishing characteristic, etc.

We now have over 50 valid scientifically described species, and Koslowski's book lists about 150 more undescribed forms that might also be valid species. Most
of this influx occurred during the past 10 years. In that period only 4 of the 100+ forms discovered over the past 10 years have been scientifically described.
Given the time & expense required, I don't expect this to change in the foreseeable future. We must realize that taxonomy is just a tool used to understand
phylogeny & evolution in groups of fishes. It is not necessary to scientifically describe & name every species in a group to understand its place in the system.

So now we have possibly 150 species that need names. The taxonomists are not going to provide them so who does? Commercial collectors send lists with new names
every month. Each supplier commonly has it own name for a fish. Thus the fish enters the hobby with several names. Unfortunately these collectors generally have
little knowledge of taxonomy, so sometimes 2 similar looking fish will come in under the same name. A. sp. Carapintada is an example of this. The first fish to
be exported under this name is what we know today under the name A. sp. Winkelfleck/Angle-spot. More recently the fish called A. sp. Masken/Masked is coming in
under this name. Hobbyists introduce multiple new names, too. A good example of this is a lyretailed pertensis-like apisto collected in the Rio Purus. In Japan
it was introduced as A. sp. Rondonia, in Germany it was introduced it as A. sp. Erdfresser/Earth-eater (and erroneously as A. pulchra), & in North America as A.
sp. Lyretail Purus. How do we decide which name to use? Unlike taxonomists, who use the ICZN, there is no clearinghouse for these names. And there is no one
organization that has the authority to give names to these undescribed species. Who should we look to? We even find many of our most respected apisto book
authors using different names for the same fish. How should we decide what name to use?

As technical editor for the ASG I have kept records for all the forms of Apistogramma for the past 17 years. This list has exploded from 1 page with about 40
names in 1985 to multiple pages with over 300 names today. I  now have problems keeping up with all the new names. The names I use often are not the first or
most common names found in the hobby. After a lot of discussion with other serious apistophiles & a lot of thinking, I came up with a system that I feel is

1) I only list names from publications or web sites. Names on commercial lists are out. In this way we have some sort of reference/photo to refer to.
2) If a fish is closely related to a scientifically described species, I will label it as "A. cf. xxx" or "A. sp. aff. xxx", hopefully with a location name
(e.g. A. cf. agassizii (Alenquer) & A. sp. aff. agassizii (Tefé)).
3) If a fish has no closely related scientifically described species, I will label it as "A. sp. xxx".
4) Preference for names of undescribed species are in the following order: #1 collection data (A. sp. Maniapure), #2 distinguishing, preferably unique,
characteristic (A. sp. Maulbrüter/Mouthbrooder), and if I cannot avoid it #3 a collector's/author's name (A. sp. Mortentaler).
5) The first published name has no preference over a more favorable name (I use A. sp. Mouthbrooder instead of A. sp. Red-face).
6) I use names that correct errors (A. sp. Papagei/Parrot instead of A. sp. Nanay (sensu Römer), which does not come from the Rio Nanay).

This is what I use for the (presently outdated) list found on the ASG web site & published periodically in the Apisto-gram. These are the names that I use, but
what makes my opinion on names any better than any other person's? Anyone have any suggestions?

Mike Wise

par.jansson@carlbro.se wrote:

> "And ppl wonder why we have so much trouble with id'ing new species, no
> one can agree on a name.... " (John)
> It is for sure that the same fish have many names;
> -Localname by native collectors,  Apistogramma bayface (?)
> -sp. "locality", Apistogramma sp. "Rio Tefé"
> -fancy trade name, Lyretail apisto
> -"A try to place it" name: Apistogramma cf. gephyra
> all in diffrent language spanish/Portuguese, german and english.
> No one consider a A-number for a unidentified fish, like L-, and C-numbers for Loricariids and Corydoras?
> I hope (if we care) that we cant but the same order as killifish keepers do (Epiplatys singa 'Santa Clara' GHH99/25) or stick to the great "Systema Naturae"
> Best fish
> /Pär Jansson
> *****************************************************
> Pär Jansson
> E-post: par.jansson@carlbro.se
> *****************************************************
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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