Multipunctatus or grandiops?

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DogWalker
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Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

Hi folks, first post here. I've had four wild-caught Synodontis for a few years, imported and sold as multipunctatus. I've learned during this time about the common confusion between them and the recently described S. grandiops species, and have tried inconclusively on several occasions to determine which I have. I've had a devil of a time getting a pic clear enough for me to count 6 rays, let a lone 7 or 8, on the pectoral fins. (I would probably need to inspect a dead fish to get it right.)

I'm interested to know how the experts here would rate the eye-to-snout ratio on the adult below, and what you are measuring... eg: for the eye measurement do you measure the distance between the outer edge of the eyelids. or the inner? for the snout length are you measuring from the outer edge of the eyelid to the tip of the snout? at an angle, or do you triangulate and take the 'x' axis (vs. the hypothenuse, or 'angled' measurement)?

Image

I come up with someting around 0.8 for the ratio - which suggests grandiops I believe?

As you can see, they have been breeding (actually they've been breeding fairly regularly). If they are in fact S. grandiops I would like to properly sell the offspring as such. The only party I've sold any to thus far as multipunctatus is the importer/dealer who sold me the w/c's as multipunctatus; and while the mislabelling of these fish may already be widespread in the hobby I would really prefer to get it straight...

Thanks,
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Birger »

Hi DW

...I would call this a grandiops, going by color, a quick count of the pectoral, size of the eye, trouble is part of what I am going by is the look of it too me, which is not very scientific but hey I am a hobbyist not a scientist.

But seriously though as you say should be able to count fin rays (I think I did it with this picture) with a good (and lucky) underside shot but what I would also be after is a shot of the medial barbels which may help to guide in the right direction as well.

What is the length of your fish at the moment? This is a guess but I would say your fish is more the length of a grandiops (less than 150 mm TL) as opposed to multipunctata (up to 280 mm TL) correct me if I am wrong and of course there is always the chance they could be small multipunctata that need to grow more yet.

Anyway as far as eye measurements here is a previous post that Lee Finley started on this subject a while ago
http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/view ... 14&t=18453

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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by dconnors »

I, too, would say S. grandiops. I have several that I got a long time ago as multis, but am 100% certain they have been reclassified as grandiops. Really a great fish either way!
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

Hi Birger, thanks for the reply.

All four are around the 4.25" - 4.5" mark. Given that they've been breeding for about 18 mths now and I got them over two years ago at pretty much that size as wild-caught adults it's a good bet they're just about as big as they're going to get - which I suppose may also suggest grandiops.

I caught the other three and photographed them for eye-snout measurement and ray counts. Even measuring as generously towards the 'multipunctatus side' as the guidelines in the link you provided would allow, the smallest ratio out of the three is 0.71.

Finally, at least one of the shots for each fish provided a reasonable look at the rays. (I didn't think to try and shoot them from underneath in a bare tank - brain on vacation). Nonetheless, the following pic is representative of the lot. I count seven soft rays here - what do you think?

Image

If there is consensus on this then I guess it's case closed... grandiops!

Thanks for your time and opinion, much appreciated!

Edit: dconnors, thanks for seconding that. I agree, either way a great fish and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them! I just wanted to be sure what they are - I've got several spawns growing out at the moment, ranging from 3/4" to 4", and I'd really like to sell these F1's under the right species name. I'd also like to inform my supplier to raise his awareness level on this... He's a great guy, but specializes in african cichlids - Synodontis are just a kind of accessory for his business. I'm sure he'd rather know about the mixup though.
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Birger »

I agree with you 7 soft rays.

Do you have Wright & Page's paper?

The reason I was asking about the medial barbels is grandiops has 4-5 pairs of non-tuberculate branches on the medial barbels and multipunctata has 3-4 which may have helped to tip the scales...unless of course it ended up being 4.

We are bound to get opinions on this from across the pond by morning...I would be interested to see if they agree, I imagine they will.

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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

No, I haven't seen Wright & Page's paper...

Here is the best pic I have taken yet showing barbels - this shot is of a younger fish though, around 2" - 2.5". Hard to be 100% sure from the pic, but I think I just make out 5, on the near side at least.

Image

If this is indeed grandiops then I can add my attestation to them cuckoo spawning with mouthbrooders, like multipunctatus. I took pictures of them doing it once, then stripped the female cichlid a couple of weeks later - out came 14 synodontis - no cichlid fry.
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

Well, this has taken a turn for the ugly! One of the most embarassing moments in my fishkeeping history in fact... The temporary tank (18g) I moved the four w/c adults to along with seven 3/4" juvies I netted out at the same time aparently was a problem; this is a tank I have used regularly as a hospital/maternity/growout tank. It hadn't been running for the past two weeks, so I rinsed it out, switched the media for media from an established tank, filled it 1/2 with water from the tank the synos came from and 1/2 with dechlorinated tapwater (dosed adequately wirh Prime), and assumed it would be fine :oops: for the length of time I would be doing this research (ie: until tomorrow or so). I also added a dose of Melafix in case they had suffered from the netting/handling.

About 2 hours ago I noticed the fish were not very active and starting to hang out near the surface - I immediately moved them back to the main tank. The temp and PH in the 18g were similar to the main tank but to my horror there was an amonia reading of 1.0! Dumb, Dumb, DUMB of me! Don't assume based on past experience - always measure! I must have somehow missed cleaning something evil out of the tank.

Anyway, as of this moment one of the w/c's is gone, another is barely alive and not likely to make it. I have it suspended in a well oxygenated current in a healthy tank - but that will probably be too little too late. A third looks weak but alert and in control of itself. The fourth is hiding up a cave - not sure of it's status. The seven juvies were displaying varying degrees of distress when I moved them back. They have disappeared into the decor. I am just stunned at how quickly this happened. This is the dumbest thing I have ever done in over 20 yrs of fishkeeping! The only silver lining is that there are 14 healthy offspring growing along well in another tank to replace my losses with...

At this point confirming the species has become a rather secondary concern, but I appreciate the input nonetheless. :(
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Birger »

Dumb, Dumb, DUMB of me!
Youch...that bites...That was me last year when I cleaned out three tanks of fish with what I considered a dumb mistake, hopefully you learn, we all learn reading about it and future fish benefit from these unfortunate incidents.

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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

Kind words... thanks.

Three of the w/c adults are gone, but the fourth appears to have a fighting chance. I've removed the bodies of six of the affected juvies as well, and I'm assuming the seventh is a goner also though I haven't found it yet (probably scavenged).

Five of the healthy ones I have growing out are over 3" - I guess I'll be adding those to the main tank now as keepers. Since I know approximately how old they are it will be interesting to see at what age they breed (if they do). In case they do, at least the question of what species they are will already have been settled... :ohwell:
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

footnote:

Well, I think I can safely say the 4th adult has made it at least <golf claps>, it's reflexes and activity level are good, and it actively looks for food and eats.

I've also determined amonia may well not have been the culprit - I was using an old and nearly empty test kit I've since determined was giving false readings. I'm baffled as to what happened, and may never know. I'm 99.99% sure no household products were used anywhere near the tank, etc.

Movin' on...
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by DogWalker »

Sorry for carrying on, but I just need to get closure on this... I'm starting to suspect a pale I used to fill the temporary tank.

There is a ci ch lid (hey what's wrong with that word anyways?) that I am treating for bloat that was coming around nicely - when I used the same pale today to do a water change on his 10g hospital tank within minutes I see him displaying the same symptoms as the synos did in the 18g. I immediately moved him out, drained and cleaned the tank, re-filled it with healthy aquarium water (using different equipment), put him back in and he is fine again (as fish recovering from bloat go).

We were away for the previous two weeks and had someone looking in on the house for us... I can't accuse anyone of anything of course, but I should have hidden the aquarium equipment better. If anyone could have found a way to poison my fish inadvertenly it would have been those ding-a-ling in-laws. grrr! (having in-laws to blame can be therapeutic)

Ok folks, I think that's it. Really. Cheers and thanks for listening... and for the help with the id'ing too of course, the original point of this thread.
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Birger »

Good that you figured it out.

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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by BrownBullhead »

When you're counting the "rays" in those pectoral fins, is a "ray" the transparent part between those opaque "raised" bars, or are you counting those "raised bars"? I find it a bit confusing to know what is the actual "ray".
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Birger »

It is the raised or thicker part...In the picture above you will notice that each ray is divided or forks near the end, this is still counted as one ray.

You must count mid-section or closer to the base of the fin. The stiff outermost spine is not counted among the soft rays.

The pectoral-fin ray count for grandiops is I,7 that is 1 hard pectoral fin spine and 7 soft rays.

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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by BrownBullhead »

Birger: Thank you for your concise explanation - I understand it fully completely. :)
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Re: Multipunctatus or grandiops?

Post by Richard B »

DogWalker - in light of your breeding of these, (with a confirmed Grandiops ID) - could you put a few words & details together about it & forward to Jools or the Mods so the cat-e-log can be updated (maybe with the pics attached too?). This is clear evidence of tank-breeding of this species & puts to bed the questions previously raised as to the yes/no of grandiops breeding.

Jools/Mods - do you concur???
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