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Kathetys, elberti and exiguums.
Hello Fellow Killinuts!
I wish to intercede on the behalf of all the Kathetys
enthusiasts out there. I believe some of the info
recently posted on Killitalk to be not entirely accurate.
First, Huber did not state that the correct name to be
used for elberti/bualanum killies was bualanum. He
state: "Aphyosemion bualanum or Aphyosemion elberti,
if you have an opinion on this debated case" This does
select one or the other.
As much as I wish this was the case as I have used the
bualanum name for 25 years, the most current usage
is A. elberti. This will clearly be spelled out when the
JAKA Special Issue on Kathetys is published. I am the
guest editor on this issue and there is a lengthy paper
by Ken Lazara that discusses this specific issue. I hope
to send this very large JAKA issue to press by the end
of the year with Brent Kelleys help. This issue has been
delayed several times, but I think it will be worth the wait
when it finally comes out.
Variation in color patterns of specific locations? Yes there
is some variation, but not as much as was indicated.
A. elberti varies the most. I am going to include part of an
informative e-mail that I sent to a fellow killikeeper a few
weeks ago in response to a question from him.
" A little more info on this subject. The blue, green
and blue/green elbertis ( Bafole, Ndop, Jakiri et al..)
are all found on a plateau that is 400 to 800 meters
above the coastal lowlands. They tend to be larger, have
larger and longer fins, are are found in streams that
are a little cooler (68 to 74 deg F) than the yellow
forms of elberti. All have various amounts of red bars,
that can be thin (bafole) or thick (foumbam), but all
locations have no trace of yellow in any fin. Most of
the streams are in savannah grasslands or low
The lowland types ( but not swampy or coastal) of
elberti tend to be stockier, with smaller and shorter
fins that have varying amounts of yellow or orange in
one or all fins ( Ntui, Diang, Nanga-Eboko, Ibaikak,
etc.) Most are found in forested galleries with some
shade They prefer slightly warmer water (72 to 78 deg F)
Sometimes they throw sports that have no yellow or red
pigment ( Ntui "blue") but in my experience these sports
tend to be genetically inferior stock, and waste away
after a generation.
There are some isolated outposts that do not exactly
fit this profile and two of them have been described as
separate fish ( A. kekemense and A. dargei). Kekemense
seems to be the most western representative of the elberti
types, while Dargei occupies a geographical spot between
the highland blues and the lowland yellows. There is another
oddball, A. elberti N'dokayo, that lives on a plateau but is
found in a patch of forest but has no yellow on it? But it
also has shorter fins and is stockier. Its all mixed up.
The exiguums occupy the area from the forested rivers to
the coast. Only where they are near the elbertis they and the
elbertis tend to look alike, with the exiguums being smaller
than the elbertis. The exiguum body size gets smaller as you
travel towards the coast and encounter slow flowing streams
that run thru more swampy areas. Also the coastal exiguums
have a lot of orange in their fins, rather than yellow with
blotches of red on the body, rather than distinct bars.
Well, thats a rough fingernail sketch of the complex."
I will briefly cover breeding techniques in a subsequent
in Killitalk in the next couple of days.
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