New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Shane wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:21 pm The entry in the Cat-elog for M. secundus in the Catatumbo is a mistake that needs to be fixed. I am sure it is based on a mistaken identification in Galvis et al's peces del Catatumbo. As you can see at a glance, the fish they found is not secundus.

So many "Fishes of" books and papers are riddled with mistaken identifications because the authors simply can not have expertise on every genera they encounter.

Also note that two distinct spp are shown. Is the Microglanis in the Catatumbo the fish in the line drawing or the photo? I can only guess that the line drawing is correct and the photo is simply of a Microglanis they found at an exporter in Bogota. Note the opposite patterns on the paired fins. The drawing shows dark fins with light edges. The photo shows a fish with dark fins that lighten near the body.
-Shane
Indeed, on that I agree with you. I think that happens often, where (as I've also been guilty of in this thread at different times) investigators try to identify fish they find based only on the existing species names, rather than being more open to the idea of their fish being a different species (not to say I advocate as a splitter; I tend to be a lumper myself). For example, here's a report of Microglanis cf. secundus in the Rio Trombetas, which I suspect is a misidentification (at least they had the wherewithall to use "cf"):
Ferreira, E. J. G. (1993). Composição, distribuição e aspectos ecológicos da ictiofauna de um trecho do rio Trombetas, na área de influência da futura UHE Cachoeira Porteira, Estado do Pará, Brasil. Acta Amazonica, 23, suppl. 1, 1-89. wrote:Tabela 11. Lista das especies exclusivas das regioes a montante da cachoeira Porteira (Rio Trombetas drainage): Microglanis cf. secundus
Perhaps unfortunately, these Rio Trombetas specimens are now accepted by at least some authors as M. secundus sensu stricto, as revealed in subsequent publications (e.g., Mori & Shibatta. 2006. Zootaxa, 1302, 31-42). I suppose, in that example, if the fish can just get over the mountains from Guyana, they might drop down into the Trombetas. :)) While I know there have been papers written to explain why fish discovered in Guyana and Suriname should be expected to be present also in some Amazonian areas of Colombia and Brazil, I struggle to imagine that many of these applicable species have remained unified genetically over history.

I also suspect, and I've mentioned it earlier in this thread, that this type of misidentification you describe (and the consequences of it in terms of future investigators simply taking a past author's word for an ID) applies to Microglanis poecilus also.
Microglanis poecilus collection records
Microglanis poecilus collection records

As to your recognition that the illustrations in Galvis et al.'s paper are mismatched and incorrectly ID'd, yes I think so too. In fact, I'd go farther and propose that neither image in Galvis et al. shows M. secundus based on Mees' original drawing. First, here again are the photo and drawing of "Microglanis secundus" from the Galviset al. paper; both images are retouched here for details. Next, I'll add the photo, just a few pages later in the same book, of Batrochoglanis acanthochiroides.
Microglanis secundus, photo page 62 (retouched)
Microglanis secundus, photo page 62 (retouched)
Microglanis secundus, drawing page 62 (retouched)
Microglanis secundus, drawing page 62 (retouched)
Batrochoglanis acanthochiroides, photo page 68
Batrochoglanis acanthochiroides, photo page 68
Notice the dark color fin markings on B. acanthochiroides - they almost exactly match the Galvis et al. drawing of M. secundus. Also notable is that the drawing of B. acanthochiroides on page 68 (which I did not reproduce here) bears no resemblance at all to the color pattern shown in the photo of B. acanthochiroides... Perhaps the M. secundus drawing is mismatched and belongs with B. acanthochiroides? If that is the case, then what kind of fish is the "M. secundus" photo?

Shane, you noted that the drawing shows a fish whose paired fins have a hyaline margin and that the photo doesn't show that. Myself, I'm inclined to take that with a grain of salt based on this single photo, since at least the pectoral fins in the photo are evidently damaged (perhaps not the pelvics); any hyaline margin might easily be lost, leaving the impression that the fins are dark to the margins. Conversely, what I see as most different between the photo and the drawing is the fact that in the photo, the tail is almost entirely hyaline but the drawing shows a very dark marked tail; while I've found a lot of variation in the tail color pattern in my Microglanis, that picture seems extreme. But perhaps the tail pigmentation is a growth-dependent trait (I know my Microglanis have developed more tail pigmentation just since I've had them, as is evident in my videos): Supporting that possibility, the museum specimens which Galvis has on file have been reexamined and identified as juvenile B. acanthochiroides: Here is an excerpt from a more recent paper on the Fishes of the Catatumbo:
Ortega-Lara, A., Lasso-Alcalá, O. M., Lasso, C. A., de Pasquier, G. A., & Bogotá-Gregory, J. D. (2012). Peces de la cuenca del río Catatumbo, cuenca del Lago de Maracaibo, Colombia y Venezuela. Biota Colombiana, 13(1), 71-98. wrote:On the other hand, the records of Microglanis secundus are from a juvenile specimen of Batrochoglanis acanthochiroides (Ortega-Lara obs per.)...
Perhaps significantly, this paper reported NO Microglanis in the Catatumbo drainage. While I would not be surprised to find Microglanis in the Catatumbo drainage, for now I have no references to document them there.

All the above discussion aside (about the absence of M. secundus from the Catatumbo drainage), I'd like return to the point of my previous post, and that is this: Microglanis secundus bears no resemblance to M. poecilus, but rather it bears some resemblance to M. iheringi, both the true M. iheringi and to the Colombian "M. iheringi" (although how close cannot be reliably estimated due to the poor quality of specimens of both M. secundus and of true M. iheringi).
Shane wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:21 pmThe entry in the Cat-elog for M. secundus in the Catatumbo is a mistake that needs to be fixed.
Done. Thanks.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

So I put some of my stimulus money to use today. Can't yet say it was "good use" but maybe. Twenty six new Microglanis from same source as my first groups, although this is a different shipment. These fish are small too. Whereas the first 18 fish were 45-65mm SL at purchase, these 26 fish are 25-35mm SL.

A lot more variation in the color patterns too, although all of them appear to be variants of the iheringi-like body plan. Some of the variation is shown below. My hope is that these variations will result in adults that look different from each other. My worst-case scenario is that much of this variation is just a combination of stress fading (because they're at a fish store) and ontogenetic maturation, meaning they'll grow into their colors and change exclusively into the typical adult colors I have already.

With their diminutive size, I know some species are reportedly this small, so maybe they are something really different. However, I expect they are just juveniles and that they'll grow to match my original fish in size.

Why did I buy so many? (1) at the shop, even though I got to select my fish from the holding tank, I did have to make some snap judgements. I thought it was better to get fish than skip them and miss something different. (2) if there is a different type in here, I wanted to increase my odds of getting more than one of it.

Well, now I hope for the best and wait. :YMDAYDREAM:
Cheers, Eric
Attachments
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20210108_171916~2.jpg
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Polish_20210108_190053539.jpg
Polish_20210108_190021767.jpg
Polish_20210108_185947691.jpg
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

If you don't want to see one fish at a time, here they are together.
Polish_20210108_190021767.jpg
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by Shane »

Keep the info coming Eric. I am betting you now have the largest collection of this genus outside the wild!
-Shane
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Shane wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:52 pmKeep the info coming Eric.
Thanks Shane, will do. My biggest disappointments are
  1. that I cannot ascertain better information on locality, beyond "Colombia" (I've contacted the wholesaler to see if they'll connect me directly with the exporter, but we'll have to wait to see if that bears fruit.), and
  2. that all of the fish I'm getting appear to be iheringi-like, although some of these babies, assuming they keep their broken patterns into adulthood, may prove to be more like Microglanis sp`rio_las_piedras` or even Microglanis pataxo in appearance (I'm saying not saying mine are either of those, but that they may share a similar color patterning).
What I'd really like to get my hands on are fish like the following, to get some variation beyond just the shape of the subdorsal saddle. But all the exports I'm seeing are coming out of Colombia, so... I get what I get:
Shane wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:52 pmI am betting you now have the largest collection of this genus outside the wild!
Whaaaat? Doesn't everyone keep 44 bumblebees? =))

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Total aside to the focus of this thread:

Grenand, P., Chapuis, J., Cognat, A., Cristinoi, A., Davy, D., Grenand, F., Jégu, M., Keith, P., Martin, E., Nemo, F., Pagezy, H., & P.Y. Le Bail. (2015). Revision of vernacular names for the freshwater fish of French Guiana. Cybium, 39(4): 279-300.
https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01254935/

According to this paper, the local Wayãpi name for Microglanis poecilus in French Guiana is "yawanukunuku sili."

... Write that on a USFWS import eDec and see how they deal with it. It's no wonder we don't get more imported for the hobby. :))

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

For a treat, I fed the new and very little Microglanis some live blackworms today. This is one of the middle-sized fish (about 30mm SL or so). Even at this tiny size, these little fish can pack away the food. I suppose that's the upside to not being "armored" like Callichthyidae and Loricariidae. :))
Microglanis aff. iheringi 2021-01-18.jpg
Microglanis aff. iheringi 2021-01-18_dorsal.jpg
I really like the broken subdorsal brown saddle that so many of these new fish have. I can't wait to see how they'll grow out (I presume they are not full grown at this small size).

Looking more closely at this little fish, I think the broken subdorsal saddle resembles other Microglanis spp. moreso than Microglanis iheringi. To support this, I use the photo above to zoom in on the pectoral spine. For better clarity, I used the right pectoral fin and flipped the image (I thought the spines were easier to see on the right pectoral fin than on the left. I then caught a second fish and placed it on a microscope stage and used the 'scope's camera to photograph its pectoral spine too. I juxtapose both images against the the pectoral spine drawings of the other Microglanis species: https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/ca ... orsal+view

Although I know that spine serrations are somewhat unreliable (esp. in juveniles) and although it's difficult to make out all the detail, I' think these pics support the idea that my fish are not M. iheringi.
Photo taken with cell phone
Photo taken with cell phone
Photo taken with Leica microscope (Different fish from first photo)
Photo taken with Leica microscope (Different fish from first photo)
I'm not 100% convinced these two photos of these two fishes match each other exactly, but they are similar. Both of the photos of my fish clearly show nine to ten retrorse serrations on the posterior margin of the spine, with the serrations either of approximately the same length or elongating progressively as you move to distally (vs. clearly peaking in length midway along the spine and shortening in the final distal portion), and with the serrations becoming progressively wider at their base along the spine distally, and with all but the most distal serration approximately parallel and the most distal serration changing orientation to create a wider angle between it and the second-to-the-last serration. The posterior serrations stop before reaching the end of the spine, leaving a significant length of spine unserrated (both anteriorly and posteriorly), with a slight anterior-leaning deflection.
On the anterior margin of the spines, I can see retrorse serrations, smaller than those of the posterior margin, present at least for the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the spine; unfortunately, in both photos, the pigmentation makes a more precise narrative of the anterior serrations impossible from these photos.

There is much similarity between the spines of these two catfish of mine and that of M. pellopterygius, although my fish are definitely not that. My fishes' spines also resemble that of M. zonatus (which might be more plausible given body color pattern, although it would require the old drawing of the M. zonatus spine to be rather inaccurate.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Here are pics of the pectoral spine of a third specimen from this most recent purchase. Alas, this fish has an intact "iheringi"-like, solid colored dorsal saddle, rather than a broken saddle like the other two fish. Why is that an alas? Because the pectoral spine looks about the same on all three fish. I was hoping that the fish with intact saddles would have a different pattern to their pectoral spine serrations relative to that seen in the fish with pale spots or breaks in their subdorsal dark saddles.

Even the spine of Microglanis reikoae looks pretty close, although the other fish features don't match: https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/im ... ge_id=7602

Thinking back to the first two spine photos, I can somewhat convince myself that the first is different than the second and third, but that may just be camera resolution. I wish I had thought to photograph the pectoral of first fish using the Leica scope.

Ugh. Oh well. Again, wait for them to grow.

Cheers, Eric
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Microglanis aff. iheringi 2021-01-18 fish 3, pectoral spine Leica scope pic 3 traced.png
Microglanis aff. iheringi 2021-01-18 fish 3, pectoral spine Leica scope.png
Microglanis aff. iheringi 2021-01-18 fish 3, pectoral spine Leica scope pic 2 traced.png
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

More pics from today, of two more (different) fish. First, a photo of a small fish, the photo which I took while the fish rested at a vertical angle in a shadow, thus revealing better the anterior serrations on the pectoral spine.
small yellow specimen, revealing anterior edge serrations
small yellow specimen, revealing anterior edge serrations
This still presents with a "closest match" for spine morphology to Microglanis reikoae, although my fish are not that. Conversely, I could still envision my spines matching that of Microglanis zonatus, if you allow that the old drawing is not accurate to some degree. One other small fish I tried to photograph today would not sit still long enough for photos, so I got none from it. I was convinced however that I saw on the anterior edge of the spine of that fish a 2-pointed (both antrorse and retrorse) serration at the transition, however, I have not seen that on any of the five fish I've photographed so far (although in each case, pigmentation clouds the visibility of that serration every time).

After that, photos of the left and right pectoral spines of one of my original group, a large yellow fish about 65mm SL.
large yellow specimen, left pectoral spine
large yellow specimen, left pectoral spine
large yellow specimen, right pectoral spine
large yellow specimen, right pectoral spine
I am probably mistaken, but to me, the anterior serrations on the pectoral spines of this large fish appear to transition from retrorse to antrorse about 1/3-1/2 the way along the spine, vs. at the 2/3 (or so) point (above the 3rd posterior serration from distal end) in the smaller fish I photographed.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

And here are the left and right pectoral spines of one of the 50mm SL fat wood-grained dark females:
Right pectoral spine
Right pectoral spine
Left pectoral spine
Left pectoral spine
I confess I was really expecting to see more difference between the short dark fatties and the long yellow more slender specimens. X_X

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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Photo update of all 18 fish from my first two purchases, plus details of my largest male and female from the group of 12 fish I got at the start of October.

Although you can't see much detail, I include the photo of the group of 18 because when I added them to this round, flat bottomed bowl, initially the sand was approximately evenly distributed on the floor. Within minutes it had been pushed to the center by the whirlwind of bumblebees swimming frantically in circles. :))
Group of first 18, swirling sand
Group of first 18, swirling sand

As for the SL values of the fish, I didn't measure any of the fish carefully on arrival in October, other than to note that the largest specimens were over 50mm SL (I had no sense of sexes yet). On Nov 22, I measured the largest presumptive male (same male is photographed here: viewtopic.php?p=327899#p327899); he was "over 65mm SL" then; now, he's about 66 - 67mm SL. He had some initial growth after purchase, and he's definitely continued to gain bulk/weight, but apparently he's added no meaningful length since November.
Largest male
Largest male
Largest male, dorsal view
Largest male, dorsal view
Largest male, dorsal view with scale
Largest male, dorsal view with scale
Largest male, face
Largest male, face

By contrast, all the wood-grained fish (including the female below) were "40-47mm SL" on Nov. 22 (alas, I made no specific reference to their size when I bought them in October). Today, all the wood-grained females are much bigger and about the same size. The largest wood-grained female today is about 56mm SL (estimated from her curved body), and also I suspect she's between doubled and tripled her mass! So maybe the size discrepancy I observed initially between the yellow fish and wood-grained fish was merely a maturity issue; let's see if these females catch up to the big males. And for what it's worth, the female shown here is NOT either of the two females previously photographed here (viewtopic.php?p=327899#p327899) or here (viewtopic.php?p=328327#p328327).
Largest female
Largest female
Largest female, dorsal view
Largest female, dorsal view
Largest female, dorsal view with scale
Largest female, dorsal view with scale
Largest female, face
Largest female, face
Hmmm. Comparing photos of male to female, I see the male has an unmelanized chin, but the female has a melanized chin. I wonder what the other fish look like. I guess I'll need to pay more attention during future photo sessions.

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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

For curiosity (and fun), here's the November and January images of the male, the images resized to match in length since the real fish hasn't actually grown in length during that time. This guy shows almost no change in color pattern, darkening, etc., in two months. But he has filled out (I'd call it a double chin, but it's more like a double-chest). I guess he's eating well. :-D

Also, with no measurable elongation in two months and with his colors stable, I think it's pretty safe to say this is a full-grown and mature specimen. I'm not ruling out continued growth over time, but I think any additional growth will be at a very slow rate.

Cheers, Eric

Same male, photos taken 2 months apart
Same male, photos taken 2 months apart
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by fishguy1978 »

A member of another forum requested ideas for small catfish that wouldn't eat tank mates, so I recommended these. Another member chimed in that he had a M.I. try to eat a ~1.5in (37mm?) Piranha. The M.I. had the piranha stuck in its mouth.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

These are definitely not community friendly for anything that can fit in their mouths. My favorite LFS will not stock these in their store tanks because of one bad experience 30 years ago, where they got some Microglanis and put them in a tank with very small tetras, and the next day all the tetras were gone. I had to convince the owner to special order them for me back in Septbember 2020, in order to get my first 6 specimens.

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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by fishguy1978 »

Wow, that is hilarious. Good to know though. I have one and haven't noticed anyone missing yet.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Fortunately, their mouths aren't very big. But their appetites are. :-D
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by Jools »

A lot of their bad press is down to their misidentification with things like Pseudopimelodus or Batrochoglanis mind you. Relatively speaking they are less predatory - so safe with more fishes than those I mention.

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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Jools wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:53 amA lot of their bad press is down to their misidentification with things like Pseudopimelodus or Batrochoglanis mind you. Relatively speaking they are less predatory - so safe with more fishes than those I mention.
Indeed yes. I asked my LFS owner if that could have been the case with the bumblebees he received in his shop decades ago. He is convinced his fish were Microglanis. But as per this commercial's narrator (after watching a wise old owl try to lick his way to the TootsieRoll center of a TootsiePop), "The world may never know." :))
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by fishguy1978 »

=))
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Looking at another relatively recent (2016) publication, it becomes obvious here that the woodgrained Microglanis have also been ID'd as Microglanis poecilus. This is incorrect, but it offers one more view of the history of uncertainty about Microglanis around Colombia and Venezuela. It also explains why the wood-grained fish I bought are being marketed as M. poecilus by the importer and by the wholesaler.

Source: Ortega-Lara A. 2016. Guía Visual de los Principales Peces Ornamentales Continentales de Colombia. Serie Recursos Pesqueros de Colombia – AUNAP. Ortega-Lara A, Puentes V, Barbosa LS, Mojica H, Gómez SM, Polanco-Rengifo O (Eds.). Autoridad Nacional de Acuicultura y Pesca – AUNAP ©. Fundación FUNINDES ©. Santiago de Cali, Colombia. 112 p.
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