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history of killies



Hi Eric,

      I imagine you want a bit of killie history a little closer to our time. 
Before killies were called "killies," the Europeans, particularly the 
Germans, called them "top minnows," "toothcarps" and "panchax." The tropical 
killies we keep from Africa and South America first came into the hobby in 
1905 -- for the African -- and in the 20's and 30's for the South American 
species. The early collectors were primarily German sailors who caught fish 
in coastal areas for the growing tropical fish hobby back home in Germany -- 
especially in Hamburg. The great early German aquarist John Paul Arnold 
(Fundulopanchax arnoldi) received the first tropical African killies in a 
1905 shipment and these were Blue Gularis and a fish that was soon named Fun. 
arnoldi. The brother of another old -time great German aquarist -- Fritz 
Mayer -- lived in Brazil and he sent back the first South American annuals to 
Germany -- C. melanotaenia, A. bellottii, M. wolterstorffi and C. adloffi.
     The term "killifish" became popular in the USA in the 1930's with the 
publication of William Innes' book EXOTIC AQUARIUM FISHES and became the term 
of choice when the AKA adopted it over "Panchax" in 1962. William Innes, Dr. 
George S. Myers (who created the genus Aphyosemion in 1924, I believe) and Al 
Klee were all responsible for the popularization of the name "killifish."
    I hope this helps.

Robert E.
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