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Re: Heterandria formosa/ color changes

I have noticed that they seem to adjust their coloration to the 
substrate, being lighter colored against light colored gravel, darker in 
tanks with dark gravel, etc.  You might want to change gravels and see 
what effect it has on them.  If they are a true color morph or race, it 
should have little, if any, effect on their coloration.

Also, I have noticed that fish seem to change their behavior depending 
on the pH of the water they are in. Fish from acidic water put into 
alkaline water and vice-versa can bring out patterns of behavior not 
present when they are in preferred water conditions.  Might be 
interesting to note the pH's of the two sites where they were collected.

>From owner-nanf at actwin_com Tue May 26 06:28:44 1998
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>Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 09:28:20 -0400
>From: Chris Darrow <darrowcs at sover_net>
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>Subject: Heterandria formosa/ color changes
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>I have a tank of Heterandria formosa (Least Mosquito Fish) and I've 
>some interesting observations (I think ;-) ).
>My fish were all caught wild, some from So  Florida (on Rt 75 between 
>Lauderdale and the Gulf Coast) and some from the panhandle , but
>certainly much farther north than the Rt 75 group.
>	 I've noticed some differences in the two groups. The northern group
>has the ability to lose all of its coloration. I've seen the females
>turn virtually completely gold. 
>The males do something similar in that they lose their stripe but 
>a solid grey coloration. The males will do this when challenging one
>another for dominance. They lose all of their stripe and accentuate a
>spot on their dorsal fin and display the spot to each other, spreading
>their dorsal fin and swimming sideways at each other, this finally ends
>when one male attacks and chases the other. The strange thing is I 
>that only the two males (which came from the north ) do this and/or 
>the ability to do this . Some of the other males do not seem to be able
>to lose their coloration, nor do they seem as aggressive. The color
>changing males even attack females if in an aggressive "mood".
>	Has anyone observed the above mentioned behavior. It occurred to me
>that maybe only the dominant males will change color, but there is one
>female that doesn't change color and it came from the south. Somewhere 
>remember reading about a gold variant of H formosa. Is it possible that
>there is several color morphs of H formosa? This would include a non
>fading morph, a morph that has the ability to lose its coloration and a
>morph with no pigmentation? I'd almost go as far as to say that the
>morph with the ability to lose its coloration, exhibits a differant
>behavioral pattern (more aggressive, more territorial) than the other.
>Could this represent two races?
>													Chris Darrow

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