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Re: NFC: Flagfish

Christian C Burke wrote:
> I recently purchased some Flagfish (Jordanella floridae) from a local
> fish store.  These are beautiful, stubby, little killies native to the
> Florida peninsula.
> I had never seen these fish for sale in a store, but perhaps this is due
> to my western location.  I got the impression from the storekeeper that
> they didn't sell very well, as they were not as "pretty" as the platies
> and swordtails in the adjacent tanks...  Whatever.  Just bag 'em and tag
> 'em, please!
> These are stunning fish.  The females have a handsome snakeskin sort of
> pattern, and the males have bright orange horizontal stripes.  I was
> particulary attracted to them because they reminded me of the sheepshead
> minnows I used to catch in Maryland, but more colorful.

They are "pupfish" like the sheepsheads and many other *Cyprinodons*. Their
scientific handle, as you say, is *Jordanella floridae*. Only killy with a
stiff fin ray, AFAIK.

> I haven't heard any mention about these fish on the list.  Does anyone
> else see them for sale in stores?  Perhaps they more common than I
> realize?  Does anyone have any experience they would like to share about
> these little guys?

PetsMart has regularly had them around here. They are often dull and ugly in
stores because they are very heavy veggie eaters, and need lots of algae and
plant material to get in good condition. Once there, they rival Dwarf
Gouramis for color. The red stripes on the side and the blue shoulder field
of the males look vaguely like an American flag. That's where the common
name American-Flag Fish comes from. As a compound adjective, it *should*
have that hyphen, but many ignore it. Females are chameleons, changing from
three spots on the side to checkerboard to stripes to who knows. Females all
have a small eyespot on the dorsal as well as the big one behind the gills.

Breeding was described in an article in the Journal of the AKA back about
'96. They have two radically different spawning techniques, top-plant and
substrate nest, that have confused most writers of Atlases.

Great community fish, they get really mean like Cichlids and Gouramis when
the male is guarding eggs in a nest.

Lots of us keep them, for they are great fish to watch. They play like
puppies, hence the name.

I recently entered a pair of those "$1.59" PetsMart fish that had been fed
up and grown to full size in a big killy show. They won 3rd place in a big
class, and brought $17 at auction!


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

                      Stop passing new laws!
       Repeal some dysfunctional ones. It will do far more good.* 
*We have too much gun control. We need idiot control.