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Re: Crossocheilus species

David Whittaker wrote:
> I finally got a look at the three Crossocheilus specimens featured
> in Robert's "The Freshwater Fishes of Western Borneo." They are
> C. cobitis, C. oblongus, and an undetermined species. The pictures
> aren't great; however, C. sp. undet. outwardly resembles a SAE
> both from the description and from the photo. It has the sharply

I think that some of the modern icthyologists are now clumping
C. siamensis and C. oblongus as one species, so it should look
like a SAE!  I can't comment, because I haven't probably ever seen
a living oblongus or even a totally valid photo of one - just 
one old photo and some bad drawings.

> tell whether the back has the reticulated pattern. The specimen
> is 50 cm long and obviously young from the large eyes. The author

Huh, rather large fish :-)  Anyway, 50 mm long SAEs normally don't
show the reticulated pattern clearly or at all, especially if the
fish is in a small, bare tank for photographing.

> I wonder which Crossocheilus species, or regional varieties
> thereof, the Indonesian wholesalers are shipping. Does this mean
> that there could be a SAE look-a-like or subspecies with its own

I am starting to believe that there might be subspecies of SAE,
although I haven't seen much differences in them.  One of the
local importers once boasted that his SAEs are from Borneo, but
I didn't believe him at that time because he didn't bother to
check anywhere and he didn't seem to take my questions seriously.
All the other importers have either said that they are from
Singapore or "it is a secret".  

Anyway, all the SAEs I've seen here for sale have been nearly
identical both by looks and by behaviour.  The differences in
behaviour have been caused by how they were kept and how old
they have been, and the slight differences in looks have probably
been just mutants, like the very dark SAE I have now.  He came
from a big school of totally normal-looking guys.  The few with
thicker head than normally have all been old specimens, and 
probably all males.

Claus Christensen, you still here?  How did the "SAE-looking"
fishes you have there turn out when they grew?  

> under the SAE banner? Maybe there is a difference between a
> "foxy lady" and an "algae-eating shark."

I wish I could see few tankfuls of those fish.  Here in Finland we
have just your normal SAEs and normal "false siamensis".  Other
flying foxes, even E. kalopterus are real oddballs here, and
I have been able to find only very few of them although I have
seen hundreds of shop tanks full of SAEs.

In Stockholm I saw a school of Crossochelis latius, and although
they were SAE-looking, they were different enough not to mix
them with real SAEs.  There were also few species of Garras,
but they were not SAE-looking at all.

> By the way, the photograph of the specimen of C. cobitis
> described by Robert does not entirely resemble that which
> appears in Baensch Atlas II under the same name. Anyone
> surprised? To be fair, taxonomic features no doubt take
> precedence over appearance when it comes to determining species.

Dave, could it be possible that you either scan those pictures
or take copies of them and send them for me?  I really would
like to see them, and I'm not familiar with the Borneo book
you mentioned.  (but I have Baensch 1-3).