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 Shane »

Your observations and photos make the differences even more mysterious (as in more of a mystery) but are fantastic and add to our knowledge. Certainly another possibility is two very similar spp collected side by side. Farlowella mariaelenae and F. Vittata were imported in mixed batches for decades before the hobby figured out they were two different spp.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Shane wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:57 amYour observations and photos make the differences even more mysterious (as in more of a mystery) but are fantastic and add to our knowledge.
-Shane
Thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to shine more light on this over time.
Shane wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:57 amCertainly another possibility is two very similar spp collected side by side. Farlowella mariaelenae and F. Vittata were imported in mixed batches for decades before the hobby figured out they were two different spp.
Ha! Apparently we haven't gotten much smarter. Three times in the last six months I've been in different LFS offering both F. vittata and F. mariaelenae comingled as common twig cats. :)) Now that I know what to look for, I can't help but check every time I see them.

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

Post by bekateen »

Forgot to mention, one individual has an atypical caudal fin, which I would guess is a developmental aberration. This individual is smaller and darker, but clearly doesn't have the bilobed fin of the other small fish. It has the correct number of fin rays in the lower lobe, but too few fin rays in the upper lobe. Ugh, maybe all one variable species with a plastic tail?

Never mind, I'll stop going on till I have something of substance.

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

Post by bekateen »

Taxonomy update - there is no way my fish are Microglanis poecilus. After studying the single photo we have on record and comparing it to the original illustration by Eigenmann, I've come to the conclusion that Microglanis poecilus must look more like Microglanis pataxo than the fish I have or that we have on the CLOG for Microglanis iheringi. Specifically, what I'm looking at on Eigenmann's illustration and the photo of M. poecilus is the brown saddle area under the dorsal. In both of these illustrations, as also seen in M. pataxo, there is a distinct and prominant pale yellow bar extending upward from below into the brown saddle area, essentially pointing antero-dorsally towards the base of the dorsal fin spine but not reaching the dorsal fin spine. This creates a brown arch effect on the fish's flank below the dorsal, and when viewed from above, this looks a bit like a large brown >< drawn longitudinally across the back, centered right at the base of the dorsal spine (which is further marked by a small pale spot). In all of my fish, and in the photos of M. iheringi here, the brown saddle area (regardless of shape) is a solid block of brown, with no intervening yellow uplift.

I've been staring at these drawings and photos for almost two months, and this huge difference only hit me now. As we say in one American TV commercial, "Wow, I coulda had a V-8!" :-BD

Cheers, Eric

Compare these photos:
  • M. poecilus, dorsal view (Eigenmann, 1912)
    Image
  • M. pataxo, dorsal view (Sarmento-Soares et al., 2006)
    Image
  • M. poecilus, side view
    Image
  • M. pataxo, side view (Sarmento-Soares et al., 2006)
    Image
  • M. pataxo, side view
    Image
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Off topic, (1) for lack of a better place to put it, and (2) because the value of this might be total mulm (substitute less polite word meaning similar material), below is a diagram which I've adapted from the Sarmento-Soares et al (2006) paper to imagine what Microglanis ater might look like. I've been struggling to find a photo or illustration of M. ater (we have none, and the original description by Ahl (1936) lacked a picture). So I lifted one of the diagrams from the 2006 paper, modified certain body proportions to match those dimensions listed by Ahl and modified the color scheme to fit Ahl's description.
Ahl, 1936 wrote:Microglanis ater spec. nov.

Body height 3 2/3 times the body length, head length 3 1/2 times. Head slightly wider than long, flat; Rounded snout; Eye 3 2/3 times the length of the snout, 7 1/2 times the length of the head, 3 1/2 times the interorbital width; Maxillary barbel as long as the mental barbel, not reaching to the beginning of the pectoral spine; Postmental barbel even shorter; Mouth wide, the corner in front of the eye; both front jaws of equal length; anterior nostrils clearly tubular; Groups of premaxillary teeth without backward protruding angles.

Dorsal I 6, its distance from the tip of the snout 2 3/5 times the length of the body; the spine a little over 1/2 the length of the head. Anal 14, rounded. Base of the dorsal, anal and adipose fin about the same length. Pectoral spine strong, with large serrations <Zähnen> all along the margin on both sides, those on the inside considerably larger than those on the outside; the serrations <Zähnen> of the outer edge bent backwards, those of the inner edge bent forward. Ventral just behind the last ray of the dorsal, just reaching the beginning of the anal. Caudal not forked very deeply, the lower lobe slightly larger and longer than the upper, slightly shorter than the head.

Basic color (in alcohol) black, belly gray-white; a very indistinct, barely visible <eben nur angedeutetes>, slightly lighter band over the neck from pectoral to pectoral, a similar, also only weakly indicated band behind the dorsal; a light spot in front of the adipose fin in the middle of the back. All fins are black, the dorsal with a white spot in the middle near the posterior margin, the caudal with a wide, white transverse band in the middle and a white border.

Total length 81 mm. Central Brazil.

One example, 81 mm total length, from Central Brazil (JOH. PAUL ARNOLD, Hamburg. G.); the new species differs from the few known species of the genus conspicuously in the higher number of rays in the anal (14 compared to 9-11) and in the color.
What I've done here, based on the body proportions, is used a 2006 schematic of Microglanis nigripinnis and altered the color pattern to match Ahl, then made the following body modifications (by estimates):
  • Altered dorsal spine length
  • Reduced indentation of caudal fin margin
  • Filled in complete vertical dark bar on caudal fin
  • Original M. nigripinnis diagram (Sarmento-Soares et al., 2006):
    Image
  • My imagination of M. ater, based on Ahl, 1936:
    Microglanis ater- my attempt to interpret Ahl 1936 using pics diagram from Sarmento-Soares 2006.png
It is but coincidence that I selected M. nigripinnis as the diagram on which to base my drawing, but fortune shined upon me. After creating my drawing, I happened to look at the original description of M. nigripinnis, and there I found this:
Bizerril & Perez-Neto, 1992 wrote:A new pimelodid catfish of the genus Microglanis, collected in a stream at the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is described. It is similar to M. ater, from Central Brazil, differing mainly in having less anal fin rays and a longer dorsal spine. Ecological notes are included.

Similar to M. ater from central Brazil. Both forms are easily distinguished from all other Microglanis species by their colour pattern, with most of the body black, except for two paler bands, and with the pectoral, ventral, anal, adipose and dorsal fins almost completely black. The new species differs from M. ater mainly in the number of anal fin rays (12 vs 15) and in having a longer dorsal spine (1.52 to 1.75 vs 2.4 in predorsal length).
I did not attempt to alter then number of anal fin rays (since they are not accurately marked in the original M. nigripinnis drawing anyway). But otherwise, this was the best drawing to start with... Who knew? God's grace was with me in figure selection, I guess. :YMPRAY:

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

Post by bekateen »

I dug up an old thread (M. iheringi) here where you all discussed the identity of Microglanis iheringi.

That took me back to a paper I already have, the 1946 Review of Microglanis by Gomes, and in there I found a photo of the holotype of Microglanis iheringi. It's very similar to (although I'm not ready to say the same as) the big yellow bumblebees I have.

Cheers, Eric

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

Post by bekateen »

Also, here is the "Microglanis iheringi" as drawn by Mees (1978). Note that his specimens were collected in Colombia, Cano San Miguel, tributary of the
Rio Guatiquia, upper part of the Rio Meta.

Perhaps his fish come from near where my fish originate. I marked up the drawing to reflect the similarity with my yellow fish. Note in my mark-up I also added a dotted line from the black arc on the dorsal fin towards the black slanting bar on the body. I highlight this because on my big fish, the alignment is incomplete (as it also is on the drawing here-the two lines don't line up). But in my smaller fish, the body bar reaches further anterior, so that the fin arc blends into the body's dark slanting bar more precisely.

We need safe passage to Venezuela... ~X(

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

Post by bekateen »

What about the small Microglanis that come mixed in with the large species? Might the large wish with the solid yellow base color be Microglanis iheringi (or M. cf. iheringi) and the smaller fish with the woody base color be Microglanis secundus?

Until today, the uniqueness of the two species is isolating, relative to so many other species with the upside down U pattern below the dorsal fin (as contrast to the solid brown mark on the fish I have).

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

Post by Shane »

Eric,
At issue here is trying to match your specimens to already described spp when we know that there are no described spp of the genus from the two most common exportation localities (Colombian llanos and Colombian Amazon).
Mees' fish above may be imported given the locality but it is also most certainly not iheringi. This is one of those groups of catfish that, once someone properly digs in and starts comparing material in collections, is going to result in dozens of new descriptions.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Thanks Shane. Yes you're right I am trying to do exactly that. Ugh.

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

Post by bekateen »

Shane wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:29 pmMees' fish above may be imported given the locality but it is also most certainly not iheringi.
Hi Shane,

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here, but if Mees described M. iheringi, and if this is his holotype, how can this not be M. iheringi? If the problem is that the fish does not match other Microglanis from the type locality proposed by Mees, then which is wrong, the type specimen or the type locality?

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

Post by Shane »

I think we missed each other here. Gomes, not Mees, described M. iheringi from the Rio Tuy basin in Venezuela. Mees found a Microglanis sp in the Meta basin in Colombia (separated from the Tuy basin by the Andes) and made the mistake of trying to match it to something already described. The closest thing he could find was Gomes' fish so he mistakenly came to the conclusion the were a match.
This type of mistake was very common when species descriptions were not very detailed and information hard to come by (no internet!) which is why we have so many occurrence records for spp that are illogical.
The other issue that permeates much older taxonomic works is what I call the "Noah's Arc Factor." Researchers defaulted to matching their finds to already described spp rather than starting with the assumption they had found something new. This was because they simply could not understand the massive biodiversity they were dealing with. Researchers today are far more likely to start with the assumption when exploring a new system that the fishes are likely to be new and unique.
There is however a downside to this as well. We are seeing lots of "Activist Taxonomy" which is describing every single thing found as new in order to bolster environmental protection efforts. The sentiment is noble but I am not sure this type of taxonomy is furthering systematics.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by Shane »

This may very well be iheringi from the Tuy basin. It matches closely to the only line drawing I have seen of a specimen actually collected from the Tuy system near El Hatillo.
From Roman's 1992 Peces Ornamentales de Venezuela.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

Shane wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:16 pmI think we missed each other here. Gomes, not Mees, described M. iheringi from the Rio Tuy basin in Venezuela. Mees found a Microglanis sp in the Meta basin in Colombia (separated from the Tuy basin by the Andes) and made the mistake of trying to match it to something already described. The closest thing he could find was Gomes' fish so he mistakenly came to the conclusion the were a match.
Hi Shane,

Sorry about the confusion there - it was me having a (hopefully premature) senior moment. Yes, I am aware that Gomes described M. iheringi instead of Mees (after all, I wrote that in a comment earlier in this thread, so obviously I knew that). However, when I read your comment about the picture above not being the type specimen, and the reference to Mees, my mind linked Mees as the scientist while simultaneously I was thinking about the photo of Gomes holotype instead of the drawing provided by Mees. So my confusion came by conflating Mees with Gomes' photograph and inferring that you were saying the photograph was not the holotype.

As for everything else you wrote, yes that makes sense. And since the Mees drawing is from Colombia, that fish may well be the same as the Colombian fish I am seeing imported to the USA today. It certainly looks similar.
Shane wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:40 pmThis may very well be iheringi from the Tuy basin. It matches closely to the only line drawing I have seen of a specimen actually collected from the Tuy system near El Hatillo.
From Roman's 1992 Peces Ornamentales de Venezuela.
-Shane
Thank you for the photo from the book. Very interesting. Looking at the heavily pigmented fins and darker body, it resembles the smaller fish I have with the wood-grained sides, spotted fins and the U shaped brown saddle under the dorsal. But if they are similar, my fish are still small. According to Gomes, M. iheringi gets larger, the size of my bigger yellow fishes.

As an unrelated issue, and because I know of no better place to put this, today I came upon a publication that shows the ovaries of a Colombian/Venezuelan Microglanis (predictably labeled "M. iheringi"). Here's the photo.
Microglanis iheringi – Yanis Cruz ©
Microglanis iheringi – Yanis Cruz ©
I share it for curiousity purposes and reproductive reference than for its photographic quality and aid in taxonomic identification. The chapter describes reproductive habits of the ornamental fishes in the region and states that Microglanis from the Arauca region are a high fecundity genus breeding repeatedly during the breeding season. The chapter doesn't explicitly link the photographed Microglanis to Arauca, but their graph showing ovarian status includes Microglanis iheringi in the legend.
Figure 4.22. Monthly behavior of general gonadal maturation for the analyzed species from the Arauca region (N = 2797). 7 sp .: Apteronotus albifrons, Brachyhypopomus brevirostris, Corydoras habrosus, Eigenmannia virescens, Microglanis iheringi, Otocinclus cf. vestitus, Platydoras armatulus, Thoracocharax stellatus. (1) Immature, (2) Maturing, (3) Mature, (4) Spawned.
Figure 4.22. Monthly behavior of general gonadal maturation for the analyzed species from the Arauca region (N = 2797). 7 sp .: Apteronotus albifrons, Brachyhypopomus brevirostris, Corydoras habrosus, Eigenmannia virescens, Microglanis iheringi, Otocinclus cf. vestitus, Platydoras armatulus, Thoracocharax stellatus. (1) Immature, (2) Maturing, (3) Mature, (4) Spawned.
Here is text from the chapter:
The number of specimens analyzed in the different groups of fish in the Arauca region is relatively low compared to those in other regions, due to the low species richness and lower volumes of capture of ornamental fish recorded for this region. The data analysis of gonadal maturation stages shows a maturation peak in May for the Gasteropelecidae Family (Figure 4.19), while in the Loricariidae (Figure 4.20) and Callichthyidae (Figure 4.21) families, no mature specimens were observed, probably due to the small sample size. The analysis of the gonadal maturation stages for all the Fish Families in the Arauca region shows a reproductive peak in the months of May and June (Figure 4.22), coinciding with the current closed period for the Orinoco river basin.
... Species with high fecundity tend to produce waves of maturation with partial spawning at intervals of days or weeks during the reproductive season.

Reference:
Ortega-Lara, A., Y. Cruz-Quintana, y V. Puentes. (Eds.). 2015. Dinámica de la Actividad Pesquera de Peces Ornamentales Continentales en Colombia. Serie Recursos Pesqueros de Colombia – AUNAP. Autoridad Nacional de Acuicultura y Pesca –
AUNAP ©. Fundación FUNINDES ©. 174 p.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

And I found an overhead photo of M. iheringi collected in Venezuela, but sadly the digital quality is poor.

Alcala, Carlos Andres Lasso. (1996). Composicion y aspectos bioecologicos de las comunidades de peces del Hato el Frio y Cano Guaritico, Llanos de Apure, Venezuela. Doctoral thesis. Dept Biol Vegetal y Ecologica, Universidad de Sevilla.

Of course, being from the Apure drainage, these fish might be more similar to the Colombian fish than the Turmero fish. Perchance, anyone have access to the original thesis? :-D (Just kidding)

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

Post by bekateen »

I came across this photograph in another paper (ref below). This fish was collected in the Casanare drainage of Colombia. This specimen is the spittin' image of the small, more pointy tailed specimens I have with the wood grained base color and pigmented fins.
Microglanis iheringi Casanare.png
Zamudio, J. et al. (2017). Ichthyofauna of piedmont and savannah environments in the Casanare River drainage, Orinoco Basin, Colombia. Biota colombiana, 18(2): 199-211. https://doi.org/10.21068/c2017.v18n02a13

Also, there is a photo (HERE or http://repository.humboldt.org.co/bitst ... /37378.JPG) of an almost identical fish (small, wood-grained, pointed tail) from the Caño Guanapalo, just up the Meta from the Rio Casanare.
Screenshot_20201217-001033_Chrome~2.jpg
The only notable difference - and maybe it's just a photo distortion is that this fish may have a pale spot in the middle of the brown saddle under the dorsal fin. Am I imagining it? Is it a photo artifact? IDK.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by Bas Pels »

Can't say I see any white spot in this saddle.

The edges are white, but that looks like an artifact to me.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by Shane »

Eric,
Just another curveball... It is also possible that fish from the llanos and Amazonas were mixed by the exporter. I.e. We could be looking at a llanos (Orinoco) basin fish mixed with a sp from the Amazon exported from Leticia. The "woodgrain" sp appears to me to be from the llanos based on the above citations.
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Re: New group of 6 Microglanis iheringi... or are they?

Post by bekateen »

@Bas Pels, I added the photo of the second fish in case it wasn't clear which I was talking about regarding the pale spot.

@Shane, I can imagine that. Thanks.

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

Post by bekateen »

When these two fish from the Meta drainage are juxtaposed, there's actually a lot more difference than I first noticed.
  • I've already mentioned hat I see as a pale spot in sub-dorsal saddle on the Caño Guanapalo specimen, vs. a solid dark saddle on the Rio Casanare fish. I'm convinced now that the pale spot is real. This is also seen in species such as Microglanis carlae, Microglanis leptostriatus, and Microglanis parahybae to name just three.
  • The shape of the subdorsal saddle is also different, with Rio Casanare fish having the U shaped saddle typical of my fish, and the Caño Guanapalo having a more angled saddle, sloping ventro-posteriorly at a sharp angle, parallel to the front edge of the thick ventro-posteriorly sloping subadipose mark just anterior to the adipose fin. On this same fish, the subdorsal saddle is more of a pair of lines which unite at top and bottom, like this: [>, creating the pale hole in the center.
  • The dark subadipose mark on the Rio Casanare fish is thin and more of a y shape with its posterior line slanting postero-dorsally, whereas the dark subadipose mark on the Caño Guanapalo fish is thick (already mentioned) and more of a \| shape, with its posterior line nearly vertical.
  • The dark vertical bar on the Rio Casanare fish appears to be thinner horizontally (relative to the height of the caudal peduncle) than the same mark on the Caño Guanapalo fish.
  • I suspect trivially, on the Caño Guanapalo fish, there are dark pigmented bridges between the subdorsal, subadipose and caudal peduncle dark saddles/bars.
Either there's just a lot of individual (or population) variation within one species, or even these are different types. I'm leaning towards the former considering how close they are in proximity, but I'm not willing to rule out the latter.

For reference, I added a photo of one of my woodgrained fish scaled to the same size. As mentioned above, very similar to the Rio Casanare fish. Now I'll need to examine all of my woodgrained fish to see if they show the variation in those posterior markings. I know already none have the pale spot in the middle of the saddle under the dorsal fin.

Cheers, Eric
Attachments
My woodgrained Microglanis
My woodgrained Microglanis
Rio Casanare fish above, Caño Guanapalo fish below
Rio Casanare fish above, Caño Guanapalo fish below
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