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Re: proper use of *sp* designations
I support your position. If there is any doubt, the fish should not be
placed in a particular species. However, in the case of the N. rubripinnis
TZ 85/28, the collector (Seegers) did do so, so others were obliged to
follow his nomenclature. However, if you now look in Killifishes of the
World (Old World Killis II) by Seegers, you will see that he is designating
this fish as N. sp. aff. rubripinnis TZ 85/28. Clearly he is having second
thoughts. As far as I am aware, no data has been legitimately published
deciding upon the true identity of the fish. The bottom line, nevertheless,
is that if hobbyists are rigorous about correctly labelling fish, and about
not allowing them to accidentally hybridize, this will still not be a
problem. In other words, keep the various populations and collection
locations separate, and no problem will occur. Fish maintained as N.
rubripinnis TZ 85/28 (or the other locations, probably the same fish, one
of which is our 97 collection from a quite distant site, still in the same
drainage) will still be the "correct" fish. For this particular fish, a
beauty by the way, I think it would be appropriate to follow the
designation N. sp. aff. rubripinnis TZ 85/28 until a paper appears in the
literature clarifying the name.
Brian Watters might want to add his opinion, too.
At 12:54 PM 1/24/00 -0500, you wrote:
> > Brian R. Watters wrote:
> > > It is common for collectors to assign provisional "sp."
> designations and it
> > generally has nothing to do with vanity. It is simply the responsible
> > to take if the collector is in any way uncertain about the affiliation of a
> > population or feels unqualified to make an unambiguous identification.
> It is
> > far better to introduce a population into the hobby with a "sp."
> > which can later be "upgraded" after further research has been conducted
> > and/or the opinions of other qualified individuals have been sought.
>While this is generally true, I wish it were even more prevelent in the
>hobby. Take, for example, the fish called N. rubripinnis. There
>is/are a Mbezi River population(s) (TZ 83/5, TZ 94/1 and Mbezi River
>TAN 95/6) that is very different from other fish that have been
>labelled *N. rubripinnis* from the Mbwenburn river area (KTZ 85/28)
>plus some more recent collections that are just now being regulary
>To my eye, the Mbezi fish (type locality I believe) are
>quite different in appearance from the other locations (Mbezi =short
>and fat with brassy sides, mottled olive and black dorsal with white
>edge; others are longer overall with more red with blue accents on
>sides -- see gallery in AKA website). More damning is that Carl
>Peterson showed in a JAKA article a few years back (sorry issue# is not
>accessable to me right now) that the 83/5 population and the 85/28
>population do not produce fertile offspring.
>Why are these fish being circulated as the same species when they
>differ phenotypically and are reproductively isolated? It would be
>easy to shrug this off as an academic exersize except that there are
>also N. rubripinnis being distributed with no location code at all!
>The killie hobby is rife with examples of accidentally hybrized fish
>being distributed and degrading previously robust stocks (eg: A.
>australe, N eggersi). Here is another accident waiting to happen. I
>think that this is a good example of why it is better to err on the
>side of caution and use *sp* or *affinnis* designations when there is
>doubt about the species identity of new collections of killies.
>See http://www.aka.org/AKA/subkillietalk.html to unsubscribe
Barry J. Cooper, Prof. Dept. Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University
Current address: 27505 Riggs Hill Rd.
Sweet Home, OR 97386 (bjc3 at cornell_edu)
See http://www.aka.org/AKA/subkillietalk.html to unsubscribe