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Apistogramma sp 'Matses'

Discussion in 'Apistogramma' started by ste12000, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. ste12000

    ste12000 Member 5 Year Member

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    Im trying to get a better understanding of the wonderful fish that my friend Tom C brough back from Peru in 2011, thanks to a kind gift from my other good friend Mark Breeze i have a F1 pair swimming in my tanks(Although no breeding yet)

    Since their collection last year i have heard little, there are a few mentions on this forum regarding 'Matses' being the same as 'Nijsseni new' but with patterning in the tail.

    Several questions arise from me reading this.

    1. Apart from the patterning in the caudal what seperates 'Matses' from Nijsseni? i cannot see anything?
    2. If 'Nijsseni new' is the same as 'Matses' except having no patterning in the caudal what seperates 'Nijsseni new' and Apistogramma nijsseni.
    3. What is the current situation with A.sp 'Matses'? new species or a morph of A.nijsseni?

    Thanks for any help, i am interested in learning more, hopefully propagating my pair and making them available to other hobbiests, they are a beautiful fish.

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  2. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Good questions, Ste. A little history. In 2008, Tom and I were shown several 'new' species. Among them was a fish labeled "A. sp. Nijsseni-New". I had no doubt that it was a form different from the typical A. nijsseni. While the males looked very similar, the females did not. A. nijsseni females have a much larger flank patch and smaller caudal spot than females of Nijsseni-New. In full breeding dress the size difference are even more noticeable. The flank patch on A. nijsseni can extend from the dorsal fin to the vent. On Nijsseni-New, it rarely expands beyond 1/3 of the height of the body (in the middle part). On A. nijsseni females the entire gill cover is black, while on Nijsseni-New, the the cheek stripe expands but it never covers the entire operculum (on my breeding female it didn't, anyway). There was/is no doubt that A. nijsseni and Nijsseni-New are very closely related. At the time we saw Nijsseni-New, we didn't know where it was from. The collector later told us it was from the Río Galvez (the same as A. sp. Matses). This river flows eastward into the Río Yavarí/Brazilian Amazon. A. nijsseni is from the Río Tahuayo and flows westward into the Río Ucayali/Peruvian Amazon. The headwaters of the Tahuayo and Galvez are separated by a drainage divide composed of low hills in eastern Peru. The nijsseni-group species, other than Nijsseni-New/Matses, all are found in Peruvian Amazon rivers. My guess is that stream piracy by the Galvez 'stole' part of the Tahuayo and took fish with it. With isolation came change to a new species. IMHO A. sp. Nijsseni-New and A. sp. Matses are populations of the same species. Both occur in the Galvez. The only difference is the males having or not having stripes in the tail fin. A. nijsseni, however, is a distinct species that shows distinct differences in its dark markings.
  3. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    Interesting and pretty fish. Thanks for showing the pictures.

    Mike, what about the pattern on the fins of the male? The normal nijsseni seems to have yellow caudal fin, but the one in the pictures above is bluish with some pattern on it. Did you see this on the Nijsseni-New you had?
  4. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I checked photos of my Nijsseni-New. The males show a yellowish interior, much like that of A. nijsseni. I rarely look at colors on apistos for species ID because so many are polychromatic. The dark markings tend to be more diagnostic.
  5. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    Thanks, Mike.

    But one more question just to make sure I got it right. Besides the dark markings, would other patterns, such as the bluish spangles on the caudal fin and other fins of the male above, be used in IDing an Apisto species?
  6. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, some people use color as a 'short-cut' for identification purposes. One for example is A. alpahuayo/Black-chin and A. juruensis. Most hobbyist separate them by the color of the lips: orange on alpahuayo and blue on juruensis. We haven't seen any alpahuayo with blue lips nor juruensis with orange lips - yet. It might be possible, but it isn't a real problem because there are other more significant dark markings (throat patch size, abdominal stripes width & shape, and the pattern on the males' caudal fins). These are more stable and better for identifying which species is which. Apisto taxonomists realize that many apisto species can vary in color, so color is less important in descriptions than meristics and dark markings.
  7. ste12000

    ste12000 Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks for the info Mike, very much appreciated.

    The fish have spawned(at last!) so the next pictures should, fingers crossed, be of fry..
    LOFFA NORWAY likes this.
  8. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    Thanks again for the explanation.

    ste12000, congratulations. I hope there will be more of this beautiful fish around.
  9. LOFFA NORWAY

    LOFFA NORWAY New Member

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    Any fry Ste? My pair is only fighting and playing around. Often just like a boxing ring. She is going after him and he seem not to be willing to go doing "hes job". The pair is in a 100L tank alone 201012 011.JPG