1. Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Wild Aggies?

Discussion in 'Identification and Morphology' started by Bev N, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Bev N

    Bev N Forum Donor 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ok..I got these in as wild aggies but was recently told they are gephyra so I figured I should ask the pros to make sure I'm iding them correctly. They are pretty fish for sure.
    [​IMG]
  2. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I saw a previous photo of Bev's Apistogramma and was certain that they were A. agassizi but now after seeing these photos I see more room for the uncertainty.
    Still, I have to lean toward A. agassizi than A. gephyra.
    I think A. gephyra are more stocky relative to A. agassizi and not usually as brightly colored. A. agassizi is extremely variable in their colors over a wider range than A. gephyra. A. gephyra are not as commonly caught as agassizi. So I still think they are A. agssizi and after I receive my 3 pairs from her this week I will have a better idea of their correct identity.
    I think A. gephyra are a fine Apisto but I prefer A. agassizi so I hope I am correct. I have always had more success with breeding wild A. agassizi than the aquariun strains and that is just one more reason why I hope they are aggies.
    These are still young looking adults and I think they will develop into the blue-white morph. my favorite form. They are to me, the classic agassizi for personal historical reasons.
  3. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    9,817
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree, not A. gephyra. They look more like A. cf. agassizii (Netz/Net). Do you know from where they were collected/exported?
  4. Bev N

    Bev N Forum Donor 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    All I have on their location is Brazil...pretty vague. They are pretty fish...some of the best of the wilds I've gotten in. Unlike my domestic aggies these are very outgoing and will eat anything....go figure.
  5. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    9,817
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Trophy Points:
    113
    A. cf. agassizii (Netz) are found in northern tributaries of the lower Amazon from around the city of Alenquer in the east to the lower Rio Negro around Manaus. The Alenquer population used to be very common about 5 years ago.
  6. Drammy

    Drammy New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Is it no longer common?
  7. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi all,
    I bought a couple of these from Bev, and I think they are gephyra, and mentioned that to her. The reason I think they are gephyra is that they clearly have two spots along the anterior portion of the lateral line - very distinct depending on mood. I've read that this is diagnostic of gephyra and these have that character much more than any aggie population I've kept. The caudal fin coloration matches description and photos of gephyra that I've seen, with the top half having a mottled or spotted look, moreso than the bottom half. They also have a thin blue/white submarginal band in the caudal fin. They are stocky and males have the red seam along the dorsal fin. I don't know that this combination of characters absolutely makes these gephyra, but they are certainly mentioned for this species in several references.
    In particular see http://www.dwarfcichlid.com/Apistogramma_gephyra.php
    I'd say the fish sent me match the description on the above linked website quite closely except that they are an orange form more than blue.

    Also see http://www.rva.jp/zukan/apisto/ap_gephyra.htm This fish pictured here is similar to what Bev sent.

    I'll try to insert an image here that was taken from the internet, but I've lost the URL to it. Don't know if it will show up here.

    [​IMG]

    I've kept quite a few wild agassizii populations and these are, to my eye much more like gephyra. Just my opinion, though.

    Whatever they are, they are very pretty, with bright yellow/orange caudal fin with purple and light blue. The dorsal fin is silvery/blue with some mottling and the red seam. Unfortunately, my attempts at photographing fish usually turn out useless as far as clarity. Bev, you seem to do pretty well, maybe a couple of pics from a different angle might help. Interesting discussion and fish.

    What does puzzle me is that one of the fish is clearly a male with the spade-shaped fin and attitude to go along with it. The other fish clearly has a rounded caudal fin with some light speckling in it and shades of orange. So judging by the caudal fin shape compared to the other fish, it looks more like a female. However, it has quite a bit of blue spangles in the opercular area, a very bright metallic dorsal fin. In fright mood it showed the two spots along the lateral line, and several more all the way to the caudal peduncle. I'd never seen that pattern in an aggie group fish. The bright colors on this second fish almost makes it look like a male. I'm feeding lots of live food in the hopes that the second fish will in fact be a female and become gravid. I bought another six fish from Bev, hoping to get some diversity and increase chances for a definite pair.

    Thanks everyone, and especially to Bev for bringing in some really fine apistos and doing such a great job handling them and making them available at a great price.

    Dave
  8. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    9,817
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't consider the number of lateral spots, caudal fin pattern, or color very useful for separating A. gephyra from A. agassizii. I have seen populations of A. agassizii from Peru that show females with double spots. Many A. agassizii males show a red margin on the dorsal fin like A. gephyra. Several populations of A. agassizii show a lace pattern in parts of the caudal fin. A. agassizii is so polychromatic that several different color forms occur together at most collecting sites, so body color is virtually useless. I find that the appearance of the lateral band on displaying males and brooding females are the most important diagnostic feature on A. gephyra. Check some of my earlier posts on the subject, like: http://forum.apistogramma.com/showthread.php?t=5703&highlight=gephyra
  9. Ekona

    Ekona Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Mike, thanks for pointing out the interesting characters for determining the difference between agassizii and gephyra, I hadn't read or hear about before. After observing the obvious males of the fish Bev sent, I'd say that during threat display, the lateral line is quite visible and even pronounced along the whole length of the body from behind the gill cover through the caudal peduncle and to the root of the caudal fin. The dominant male spends a lot of time displaying to the other fish in the tank and it's lateral line remains quite dark and does not fade. This trait is also true for the fish that have the more female-like features of the bunch, that I'm hoping will become gravid and display the brighter yellow colors characteristic of females.

    The thin blue-white sub-marginal band in the caudal fin with lacy patterning inside it is also quite clear in males. I'm noticing that in the smaller fish that look more female-like, the blue-white submarginal band is absent in the caudal fin, with only some light speckling, with the caudal fin being more rounded than spade-shaped. I'm wondering if the absence of the submarginal band might be a characteristic marking these as females? It's a bit confusing, because these specimens are more colorful than other female agassizii that I've seen, and would make great females, if that's what they are. Otherwise, they are just sub-dominant males, which would be sad if the whole group turns out to be males. Only time will tell.
    Also, upon closer examination, some of the fish in the group have a seam on the dorsal fin that is red on the anterior part and blue toward the posterior part, so both red and blue there.
    Again, whatever species the fish are, either agassizii or gephyra, they are a great looking yellow cf. that I hope I, Bev or whoever else has them might be able to breed.
    Dave
  10. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Just got 3 pairs of "Bev's agassizi" and although I haven't seen the lacey markings in a male's upper caudal fin quite like these in other wild agassizi before, the females do have a classic lateral stripe punctuated with a mid-line spot of agassizi.
    I call them agassizi and just another example of how variable species with as wide a range can be.
  11. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Bev's fish strongly resemble the Apistogramma sp aff agassizi "Belem"
    shown on page 19 of Aqualog South American Cichlids II.
    The females are uncharacteristically brightly colored compared to others. Very little different from the males. Caudal fins are rounded instead of laceolate in the males.
    I'm trying to condition my specimens until the probable females are definitely different and not just young subdominant males. Very pretty Apisto.