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Re: Barron's Killi book (and Vinegar Eels)
Jeff Shoffner wrote:
> Just finished reading it cover to cover last night. Sounds like a good
> beginner book & it has eased some of my discomfort. (vinegar eelworms?
> Ugh!!! Oh, you just raise them in a wine bottle & strain them off in a
> coffee filter? That doesn't sound too bad.....)
I prefer a gallon pickle jug for culturing, as that can last for a year or
two in the garage, with little attention. Use 50% cider vinegar, as some US
"distilled white" has anti-worm stuff that's not on the label. Feed apple
slices, or plain old apple juice (rarely).
Even better, keep in a 1L (or 500cc) boiling flask half full, to get good
air surface. To collect, fill to the start of the neck from the 1G stock
jug, and stuff filter floss down to just touch the surface. Fill the neck
with plain water.
Next morning, many eels will have worked through the floss to get to air,
but the vinegar will not mix up into the neck. Use a syringe to extract pure
water and eels. Replace the solutions to 1/2-full flask and gallon jug until
the next feeding. Much easier than coffee filters and you don't lose the
smallest ones that may be the most valuable to small babies.
You mean now
> that I've started looking at these guys & somewhat remembering their names,
> I got the WRONG NAMES???! :-)
Many of the species names are OK, but the *Aphyosemions* were the first big
killifish class to be extensively revised, starting about 30 years ago. Many
German hobbyists were very stubborn about accepting some of the revisions,
so propagated old nomenclature long after most of the scientific community
accepted the new names.
> Speaking of names, I want to make sure I'm reading this right; there is a
> Fundulopanchax gardneri & an Amphyosemion gardneri (did I spell those right?
> Where's that book?......) but they are two different fish, right? Why are
> they both gardneri?
Nope. One (maybe) fish species* with a reclassified genus.
> I know the name is descriptive, so I guess that's the
> reason, but what does 'gardneri' mean?
It is the male Latin possesive of the name Gardner. It means "Gardner's
Fundulopanchax." Since Edith Korthaus is female, the name for her Notho is
In the early '80s, Lynn Parenti redefined many Aphyos, based on her
osteology studies. This was new to ichthyology, in many ways. They had been
using external meristics, like fin-ray and scale counts, eye size, fin
location, etc. It took a while for the community to accept her
reclassification of many Aphyos into the Fp. genus, based on bones --
particularly jaw and head structure.
"Roloffia" had some serious early mis-ID problems that caused the ICZN to
finally declare it nomen nudem, permanently. The big "Roloffia" have, more
recently been removed from Aphyo and named *Callopanchax*. The smaller ones
are now *Scriptaphyosemion*. Again, some stubborn hobbyists have tried to
force the name back into use by refusing to drop *Roloffia* as a genus.
Others still use Aphyo.
Recently, many SA Annuals, like *Cynolebias*, have been split into several
new genera. *Rivulus* will be the next big genus to get redefined and
divided. I can hardly wait! :-(
All of this is in the presence of DNA studies that are really defining the
relationships between genera and species much better than ever before. That
work also will filter into naming changes as we go along, I'm sure.
Where is the poor hobbyist in the midst of all this change and confusion?
Well, we have learned that the names are stable from the bottom up. I know
exactly what a TDK 97/2 is. It is a *striatum*-like fish, collected in Gabon
in '97 by Tirbak, Derugin, and Kleisch, at a particular spot on their trip
map. Some call it *Aphyosemion sp. aff. microphtalmum*. Some list it as *A.
microphthalmum* which is wrongly-spelled and doesn't leave any wiggle room
if it is not really that species. [The original description by Lambert and
Gery, in 1968 was actually spelled wrong, so that name, *microphtalmum*,
sticks, BTW.] If someone looks closely and decides it is not even an Aphyo
(my guess) it might get redefined as *Episemion microphtalmum* or even
something else. It has the bright Epi star on its forehead, for example. :-)
I've never noticed that on any other Aphyo.
Through all these names, the one that I would not change on my tanks or bags
going to the club auction would be the TDK 97/2. That still defines, to me,
that fish without regard to the latest whim of the scientific "splitters" or
"lumpers." Collection locations like "Monrovia" and "Lagos" are pretty
worthless, as those are just major export centers that draw on collections
from all over West Africa. There are many fish with better-defined
locations, like *Fp, walkeri* Kutunze which is also GH 74/2. In such cases,
either location or collection code is definitive, and usefully defines the
*The species is due for some real work, as GAR actually appears to be more
than one species, right now. Most experts now accept that *nigerianus* is
not a sub-species of *gardneri* but lack of recent published work left Ken
Lazara with little choice in doing KMI4 so he left them there, for now.
Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351
We have a million monkeys typing on a million keyboards.
The 'net still does not look much like Shakespeare.
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