Fishing trip puzzles

Discussion about cichlids from Central America
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River2
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River2 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:41 pm

And the story about Margaritifer continues.
Two pages. By John Heaton;)

So you managed again to suprise us with
new things from the depths below.

This time Amphilophus (Ibelieve)
At least it has the boddy shape of Amphilophus. But
- with the yellows of Pasiones
- the lightnings of Herichthys
- the bands of Urophtalmus
- and the number of Trimaculatus

With other words a wonderful fish :D

Unfortunately the fins are difficult to see. So more pics are welcome.
I thought I read somewhere you don't have them anymore but I must misread this.
First Conkel, who frosen Margaritifer. And than John who simpley lost them. No this won't be true
I suspect you people just want to keep the legend alive;)

I don't think it is a Jack Dempsey juvenile.
I agree with Alex. Mouth and headshape don't match.

But I also don't think it is "Margaritifer"
Mainly because of the number of transverse bands.
8, at Margaritifer and 9, at youre fish (counting from behind the gills to upon the tail).
Those characteristics are quite fundamental and not easy to convert.

A hybrid? I don't think so, because it is (in my opinion) impossible to catch two times the same hybrid
in a lake like Peten. But even when you own that amounts of luck they sure won't be " look-a-likes".
Remains the possibility of course they once would originate from a hybrid but who can say where our
current species come from?

You say "the chances we wil find new species in lake Peten are zero". But I am not so sure.
The lake is big and lately you shown us before that there is a lot to discover left in Lake Peten.
(besides that, in malawi they discover every week a nieuw species;) I know we can't compare
those lakes but I won't exclude the posibbility there are unknown species in Lake Peten.
So maybe you just find one. "Amphilophus Johnus :) The waiting is on a ichtyologist to classify them.

In the meantime I hope you and youre crew wil go on with youre discoveries and learn us more
about the variety of the Cichlidcommunity in your region.


PS.
Is everything okay with you and youre crew?
We see disturbing news coming from Guatamala on our tv.
The storm Agatha killed 150 people and it keeps on raining.
I hope we heard soon from you

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chc
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by chc » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:56 am

jillcullen wrote:Looking at the pic in conkel's book the body and the black spots are similiar but the head shape is more elongate like a Thorichthys type.
Yes, I agree. I see what you mean.

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John Heaton
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Location: San Andres, Peten, Guatemala, Central America.

Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by John Heaton » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:10 am

I would comment that many juveniles do not resemble their parents in profile (shape) they fill out and become chunkier as they mature. T. affinis is an exception the tiny guys look just like the adults except for colour. V. melanurus are an example of the difference between juveniles and adults. The young juveniles are slim and streamlined and as they become adults they bulk up into ugly multi coloured monsters (IMO) and their distinctive young markings become spattered.
Until I can interrogate the local fishermen in the Flores island area (where my fish and Conkels fish were found) I cannot make any further useful contribution.
My next task is to take a launch on a Sunday morning over to the Flores area. We will cruise around, talking to the fishermen in their canoes and showing photos of the fish in question. This is a very pleasant affair as the locals are very happy to have a chat. They are also very happy to show us what they have been catching
We are now into our rainy season and sudden violent storms can erupt in the afternoon. This is no real problem as we can keep a close watch on the sky and return across the Lake if it is perfectly clear or seek shelter if it threatens. We will now carry ponchos for our own comfort.

Where I live in the Northern Peten it is never affected by Earthquakes, Volcanic activity or Hurricanes, Much of Guatemala west of Guatemala City is a mess at the moment. About 15 major bridges have been damaged and thousands of people are living in shelters in squalid conditions. The City Airport was closed for 5 days, which stranded a great, many tourists. Much of the Maize crop was destroyed and this will cause major food problems in August.
Unfortunately the people living in this area, strip the hillsides of trees, causing mudslides and their own demise

PS I was amused by the "Double Dutch" of Mr Rivers 2. :D I am taking a wild guess. Are you from the Netherlands ? :)

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:28 pm

Hahaha "double dutch".

Yes when I lost one account I still have the other one :idea:
No.., its because I could not login fore a time
so I just make another one

It's good youre high and dry but it's pity they strip the hillsides that much.
Is there no goverment who regulate aktivities like that. In the Netherlands you need a "lisense to kill". :wink:
You pay the townofficial E 50,-. Than it will be published in the lokal newspaper and when nobody complains
you may cut one tree. But I must say adonce, we have almost no trees left.
This will however not cause any mudstreams because our land is totaly flat.

But back to margaritifer 8)

You speak about "juveniles" But how big where they really. To me they look not that small.

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John Heaton
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by John Heaton » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:54 pm

You speak about "juveniles" But how big where they really. To me they look not that small.

I append below the taxonomic history of A. margaritifer. I have to rely on the statements by Conkel and confirmed by the cichlid arbiter in Stockholm and apparently others. The maximum size is quoted as 23.5 cms. so it is one of our larger fish. The examples that I caught were about 8 to 9 cms.
The only other species in the Lake that reaches this size are:- C. urophthalmus and Petenia. splendida. Vieja melanurus can reach this size in captivity but have not been seen in the lake this large.
Because I collect in "shallow" water most of my captures are juveniles and sometimes young adults depending on the species. Our fishermen looking for food, fish in deeper water using live bait. Because I am unable to obtain suitable glass my tanks have to be limited to 200 litres.


margaritifer, Heros Günther [A.] 1862:287 [Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. v. 4; ref. 1969] Lake Petén [Petén Itza], Guatemala. Holotype (unique): BMNH 1864.1.26.62. •Valid as Cichlasoma margaritiferum (Günther 1862) -- (Conkel 1993:92 [ref. 22949]). •Valid as Amphilophus margaritiferum (Günther 1862) -- (Burgess 2000:54 [ref. 24818]). •Valid as Amphilophus margaritifer (Günther 1862) -- (Kullander in Reis et al. 2003:611 [ref. 27061]). Current status: Valid as Amphilophus margaritifer (Günther 1862). Cichlidae: Cichlinae. Distribution: Atlantic slope of Guatemala. Habitat: freshwater

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:07 pm

John.., This thing gets more interesting by the hour. When I got a bit closer look at your 2 fishes
I came to the conclusion they are not "two off a kind". In fact they are complete different.

At first sight they have the same appearance,
but when you examen them seriously you see big diferences.

fish nr 1. above:
yellow green
concave forehead
prolonged body
eyes in front of the head
gills different
9 vertical bands

fish nr 2. below
yellow pink
convex forehead
high shaped body
eyes back in the head
gills differend
8 veretical bands

Two different species? But why do they look so simular?
Convergent evolution? ore hybrids after al?

In my first opinion I took all measurements from fish nr 1. wich made the conclusion
it could not be Margaritifer but now I have to change that.
In fact when you look at fish nr 2. "this could be Margaritifer indeed". :D

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John Heaton
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by John Heaton » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:31 pm

When I go on a trip I put all the photos taken that day in one file. I then select the photos that I will use and put them in subject files. The main file is then deleted. For some reason the main file was not deleted on this occasion. I therefore have a photo of one of the fish, the first one caught at 11.24 am and three photos of the second fish caught ten minutes later. To me they look identical.
Attachments
Fish 1 text.jpg
Fish 2 1 text.jpg
Fish 2 2 text.jpg
Fish 2 3 text.jpg

blackghost
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by blackghost » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:10 pm

I cant add much to this discussion here, but I'd just like to comment...

When I first saw these latest pics, I had the top 2 photos on the screen (before I'd scrolled down to the other two pics of fish 2), and I thought "Hmm...1st pic looks melanurus, 2nd pic looks Thorichthys". I think you'll agree, because of the angle of the first fish 2 pic.

Then I scrolled down and the two fish do indeed look pretty much the same.

Could it be a now-viable hybrid between the two genera (a new species)? Could it be a hybridisation that once occurred rarely ('margaritifer') and now for some reason is occurring more commonly (its very strange that John caught two specimens of a 'freak' hybridisation within 10 minutes, although its not impossible to catch 2 well-grown siblings from one spawning - even the most unlikely things happen at some point. We shouldnt always rule it out just because it is very unlikely).

I'd like to leave you with this thought. If Guenther had caught a hybrid, how would it have been categorised, and described, and what would it have been assumed to have been, at the time?
Mark Wright

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John Heaton
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by John Heaton » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:17 pm

Mark, as I have a complete photographic record of this trip I am able see exactly what we caught. Apart from the two fish in question and a suspicious looking C. salvini we only caught V. melanurus, 15 of them. There were a couple of juveniles but mostly young adults (13 cms). Some of the males even had nuchal bumps.
I was wondering what these guys were doing hanging out with the melanurus. The melanurus is the only fish in the Lake that develops the bump.
Attachments
MEL TANK 1 sh lit sm.JPG
MELANURUS NEW 1 litsh sm.JPG
MELANURUS NEW 1 litsh sm.JPG (89.58 KiB) Viewed 4012 times

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by Alex Odesit » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:21 pm

John Heaton wrote:When I go on a trip I put all the photos taken that day in one file. I then select the photos that I will use and put them in subject files. The main file is then deleted. For some reason the main file was not deleted on this occasion. I therefore have a photo of one of the fish, the first one caught at 11.24 am and three photos of the second fish caught ten minutes later. To me they look identical.
I agree with you John. To me both of these fish looks identical, even the eye iris color. I think type of lighting/angle/etc attribute to the difference in coloration between first fish (pic #1) and following pictures after.
Keep us posted John.
Alex

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 am

The appearance is the same, but the fish is quite diferent for me.

Look through youre first impression. The fish want to believe you they are the same :)

I see the differences on all foto's but the best way to see it is to look at your first foto.
Foto nr 1. There you got them both one above the other.

Look at the form of the body, the headshape, gills, the colors and last but not least count the bands.

Never belief somebody on behalve of there bleu eyes :wink:

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by Alex Odesit » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:44 am

as I said before I see alot more simmilarity besides the blue eyes thus the eyes is not the main point.

blackghost
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by blackghost » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:40 pm

...also some spp have a variable number of bands.
Mark Wright

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:39 pm

I see alot more simmilarity besides the blue eyes
O sorry. "somebody trust on his blue eyes" is a dutch proverb :) I don't mean it literal.
Of course there are a lot more similarity's then differences. I would say "more than necessary".
also some spp have a variable number of bands
like...?

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Alex Odesit
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by Alex Odesit » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:52 pm

Mark Wright wrote:...also some spp have a variable number of bands.
comes to mind Convicts and Urophthalmus from CA
Heros Efasciatus and Festae from SA

I use to count virtical bands on some of my fishes of the same spp when I was younger and have more time.
Unless I was high 8) , I noticed that some of them have different number of virtical lines.
Sometimes one fish have straight bands while other have 2 comming from one and so on...

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:00 am

In one genepool? It would surprise me.
But when you say so. I take it for that.

Here is my last attempt to convince you. The silluette :wink:
Peten-puzzel 1 siluette.jpg
Peten-puzzel 1 siluette.jpg (4.91 KiB) Viewed 3949 times
Peten-puzzle 1.jpg
Peten-puzzle 1.jpg (6.39 KiB) Viewed 3949 times

blackghost
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by blackghost » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:08 am

I agree!!

I must say I was getting a bit confused about which fish we were talking about (I'm trying to follow many threads on many forums).

The second pic does it more for me than the silhouette. They do look like different spp. or possibly different individuals of the same hybrid?
Mark Wright

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River
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by River » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:48 am

Exactly...That were also my thoughts.
different spp. or different individuals of the same hybrid.

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John Heaton
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by John Heaton » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:57 am

Some photos of some of the V. melanurus that we caught at the same location, on the same day.
I wonder what they would look like as dried specimens. All these fish are about 13 cms, 5 plus inches. The same size of the specimen sent by Osbert Salvin to Gunther.
Attachments
mel bump 2 time.jpg
mel bump 3 time.jpg
mel bump 4 time.jpg

blackghost
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Re: Fishing trip puzzles

Post by blackghost » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:42 am

Forgive me if this ground has already been covered John. :)
Are you saying that the original 'margariter' may have been a melanurus, or an odd hybrid?
Mark Wright

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