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Aphyosemion to Fundulopanchax
The use of Fundulopanchax goes all the way back to 1933 and George S.
Myers' revision and really creation of the genus Aphyosemion we know today.
At that time he created two sub-genera within Aphyosemion: Fundulopanchax and
Callopanchax. I believe, but would have to check, that the Blue Gularis was
the type species for Fundulopanchax and that what was THEN sjoestedti but is
NOW occidentalis was the type species for Callopanchax. These sub-genera have
now been raised to genus status. Myers' use of the name "Callopanchax" for
the fish that was called sjoestedti then, but was in fact still an
undescribed, yet well-known aquarium fish is the main reason why we can no
longer use the wonderfully musical name "Roloffia". When Stenholt Clausen
established the genus "Roloffia" in 1966, I believe, he used the fish long
known as sjoestedti as the type species and finally described it and
corrected it's decades' long misidentification. That fish is the gorgeous and
endlessly fascinating occidentalis. Clausen felt that Myers' "Callopanchax"
should be ignored as it was only of sub-genus status and, more importantly,
was based on a fish that was misidentified and that had never been described.
Clausen's point lost and "Roloffia" was shelved. It's too bad as he has been
proved to be right. When Roloffia was shelved everyone placed these fish back
into Aphyosemion and then --- bizarrely -- as is found in Wildekamp -- into
Fundulopanchax! Glen Collier's work in DNA has shown that Clausen was right
all along to recognize these fish as a separate genus from the get-go, and,
in fact, maybe they belong in 3 separate genera. It is a shame that Clausen's
work was denied and Myers' upheld as it is obvious that Clausen was the guy
with the deepest and most original scientific insight in the days before DNA.
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