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RE: Nothobranchius eggersi Ruhoi Red
Darryl Tsutsui wrote:
> Brian R. Waters wrote on Fri, 28 Jul 2000 14:09:20 -0700
> >There is issue about this Notho that needs to be clarified.
> >The "red" designation is something that I would guess has been
> >added by a hobbyist,
> I have sold this fish with the Ruhoi Red designation because that's how I
> obtained them. The breeder has informed me that he obtained them from a
> *wholesaler* from overseas. But he may be a hobbist as well.
Fair enough. The purpose of my comments on this matter was not to assign
blame to any particular individual but rather to make the killie community
aware of the ambiguity of the "Red" designation in this case and, perhaps
more importantly, the fact that it is a color designation that has never
been attached to fish collected wild from the Ruhoi River area.
> >presumably because some specimens derived from the Ruhoi
> >population had a bit more red on them than was considered
> "normal". I find this designation misleading and inappropriate.
> I agree that it is misleading and inappropriate, if done falsely &
> maliciously. But by making such a presumption, it misleads by accusing
> those that have possesion of this designation and unknowingly
> it as such. The last thread I dealt with had to do with the AKA Code of
> Ethics, so I find it amusing that correlations are being drawn as to me
> being misleading and inappropriate.
You are reading far more into my comments than you should be. Did I name
anyone in my message ? It is, therefore, most unreasonable for you to take
umbrage and say that "correlations are being drawn as to me being misleading
and inappropriate" ? I first saw this "Ruhoi Red" Notho being advertised in
a European killie journal more than a year ago, and certainly a long time
before I saw any listings of yours for this fish so my comments were not
intended to assign blame to you (or anyone else for that matter). Note also
that "misleading and inappropriate" does not necessarily mean that the act
of assigning the "Red" designation was done "falsely and maliciously"; in
fact I am quite sure it wasn't.
> >There are two main points that I wish to make:
> >Firstly, all populations of N. eggersi collected to date from the Ruhoi
> >River area (the type area for the species) have been what we
> >regard as the "blue" form and have been introduced into the hobby
> >with that colour designation.
> I believe the winner of this year's AKA Best Nothobranchius was one such
> fish, but are they the same fish in color, appearance, design,
> temperment? Do they mirror what was originally collected?
I was not at this year's convention so I cannot comment on this.
> My point is, and there have
> been numerous threads on this issue, is after a few generations
> and a couple
> breeders downline of selective breeding, the fish vaguely
> resembles what was
> collected. I'm not making a point against location codes, which makes
> keeping these fish sometimes unwiedly with their extensive nomenclature,
> because it does give excellent historical & geographical references, but
> when does a species become an aquarium strain? If anything, an exotic
> location gives it value, which sometimes leads to braggadoccio.
There are at least a couple of criteria that I would regard as important in
deciding when a species becomes an "aquarium strain":
1. When the locality data are unknown. This can happen in two ways: a) the
information is not likely to be available because of the circumstances under
which it was collected and/or distributed. For example, some commercial
collections and introductions might fit into this category; b) if a
population of a species is introduced into the hobby with the appropriate
collection code designation and this code is subsequently dropped when the
fish is distributed. Obviously, this is more of a problem when numerous
populations of the same species are in the hobby because without the codes
there may be no way of reliably distinguishing between them and, therefore,
being able to tie them to a particular locality, collection date, etc. From
my perspective, at that point they become aquarium strains.
2. When a species is deliberately selectively bred in order to substantially
change certain characteristics such as color pattern. For example, some
years ago N. eggersi from the Ruhoi River area was selectively bred by a
hobbyist in Germany so that almost all the red was eliminated from the color
pattern of the fish. This Notho was initially distributed as N. Geysenbergi,
which was a highly misleading and, in my opinion, irresponsible naming of
the fish because many hobbyists, on seeing the name, assumed it was a new,
recently described species. This was, of course, not the case at all.
Apparently, the name Geysenberg is derived from a park or recreational area
near where the hobbyist lives. A far more appropriate name for this fish
might be something like: N. eggersi "Aquarium strain Geysenberg", or
something similar. Deciding when a species has been selectively bred to the
point where it should be regarded as an "aquarium strain" is, of course,
somewhat subjective so this criterion is not as clear cut as that discussed
above in 1.
> >Secondly, specimens from the type locality, although they are
> >blue, can have fairly extensive of red markings on them - that
> >is normal
> >and within the range of color variability for populations from that
> >specific area. Illustrations that I have seen of the so-called
> >"Ruhoi Red"
> >fish are not, in my opinion, sufficiently deviant from the wild and F1
> >specimens from the Ruhoi area to warrant the "red" designation. Look at
> >the photo of the
> >male N. eggersi Rufiji River Camp TAN 95/7 on the AKA web site and you
> > will see what a true "red" form of the species looks like.
> Which illustrations are you referring to?
One example would be the photograph in the Aquabid listings which, I
believe, is a photo of one of Darryl's fish. I presently have a batch of F1
N. eggersi Ruhoi River TAN 98/11 (blue form) derived from wild specimens
collected from the type area that show more red than the fish pictured in
Darryl's Aquabid listings. And the wild specimens showed the same
characteristics. The blue form of N. eggersi does have red markings - that
is quite normal. Which brings me back to the same point I was trying to make
in my first message - compared with the true "Red" form from the Rufiji
River Camp area, the Ruhoi River populations are, nevertheless dominantly
blue, so attaching the "Red" designation could be misleading.
> Another presumption is made that
> samples of collections, being derivative of sometimes wide areas and
> populations, are all that exists. Now unless the ditch, canal, ravine,
> pond, lake, area was completely drained, how do we know that
> others are not in existence? Spare me the statistical analysis argument.
I am not sure exactly what your point is here but I have had enough field
experience to NEVER assume that material collected to date is all that
exists. That would be a ludicrous assumption. We have, for example,
collected many more populations of N. eggersi than are presently in the
hobby, and that includes color forms that are intermediate between the
"blue" and the "red" forms. We have also collected a "blue" form of N.
eggersi a mere couple of kilometers from the pool where we collected N.
eggersi Rufiji River Camp TAN 97/7 (Red) (both of these are illustrated on
the AKA web site).
> >If this Notho has been derived from one of the recently collected
> >populations, e.g. "Ruhoi River TAN 95/11" or "Ruhoi River TAN
> >98/11", then
> >it would be preferable to use the original location designation only and
> >not attach a color designation that may be inappropriate.
> I believe if that fact was known, this particular strain would have been
> designated as such.
Then what you have is an "aquarium strain".
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, Sask. S4S 0A2, Canada
Ph: (306) 584-9161 (home); (306) 585-4663 (work)
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: bwatters at sk_sympatico.ca
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