Ancistrus ID please?... And they spawned. :-)

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Ancistrus ID please?... And they spawned. :-)

Post by bekateen »

EDIT: On 2018-04-15, I discovered a male fanning eggs! :-) (link here)

EDIT: On 2018-06-01, First fry found :-) (link here)


Hi All,

I picked up six of these Ancistrus, ranging in size from about 1.75" SL to about 2.5" SL. The smallest individuals have a black body with pinpoint silver-green iridescent spots and burnt orange (red-brown) color on tail and pectorals.

The middle size fish have a transitional color with the iridescent areas expanding into short curly lines, and beautiful burnt orange (red-brown) colored fins, with a black seam along the middle of the caudal fin edge.

The largest fish is almost all burnt orange (not so red any more). The iridescent spots have blended and the black has almost disappeared except for pinpoint black dots on the body.

I thought the smaller fish look similar to Ancistrus hoplogenys or Ancistrus sp`rio_ucayali`. But the middle sized and larger fish look like nothing I've seen.

The LFS does not know what they are, but knows they were expensive as Ancistrus go.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Eric
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WP_20171220_13_10_08_Pro.jpg
WP_20171220_13_10_49_Pro.jpg
ancistrus photo tank.jpg
ancistrus upside down.jpg
ancistrus cropped dorsal.jpg
Last edited by bekateen on Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by panaque »

They look amazing. I also have never seen any like this so I can't help with ID.

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by Jools »

From time to time you see calico variants like this. I guess you need to grow them out and see what they do. They are pretty.

Jools

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Thanks.

If I can make a prediction, I think they are all going to end up being the calico orange color - I know calico-colored "common BNs" are readily available, but I've never heard of a calico BN with a head and tentacle phenotype like those of A. sp. Rio Ucayali and A. hoplogenys. Neither have I heard of a BN starting out with a "wild-type" color pattern and then changing to calico. The closest thing I can envision is how species like Hypostomus luteus and Parancistrus aurantiacus change from dark to yellow as they age. (and sometimes they go back to their dark color... if it's the same phenomenon, will mine? Who can tell! :-D)

Although the LFS recalls they are wild caught, at the same time, they are not sure of the ID when purchased. And now they aren't even positive about which wholesaler they came from - possibly Ruinemans Florida; with that realization, the LFS is no longer certain about them being WC.

Currently, it is just my hypothesis that these are transforming colors from a A. sp. Rio Ucayali or A. hoplogenys pattern to the orange calico. My idea is based on two observations:
  1. The color diversity in the tank, and how it segregates by size. All of the smaller fish are the dark blackish-brown color with pinpoint iridescent spots and red edges/stripes on fins. The intermediate sized fish have less black, more red, and larger iridescent patches. In the largest fish, there's almost no black, except in tiny condensed spots; and the iridescent spots are still slightly distinguishable, but they have blended in with the orange to create the odd color pattern. If these color patterns were not a progression, I wouldn't expect them to assort so perfectly with size, but rather be randomly present in fish of different sizes (some orange small fish and some black big fish).
  2. When the fish first arrived in the LFS (a month or two ago is the first time I saw them), all of the fish were small and all of the fish were the blackish-brown color with red-edged fins and fine iridescent spots. That means the orange and intermediate colors have developed since the fish arrived, and it means the fish that are currently orange used to be the blackish-brown color.
I'm not surprised by the possibility that there could be calico mutants in any species strain. What surprises me, if my hypothesis about color change is correct, is that these fish would progress through what looks like an otherwise "normal" color pattern as seen in A. sp. Rio Ucayali and A. hoplogenys (and a few others, see this COTM), instead of being born with an immature calico color pattern that just matures as the fish grows.

As you observed, only time will tell. Not only do I want to see how these grow out, but I also hope that they will breed for me so that I can witness the re-occurrence of the color transformation from start to finish.

Cheers, Eric
Last edited by bekateen on Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Here are two of the smaller fish this morning. Looking at the tail spots on the one fish with less red in the tail, I think the spotting pattern looks a lot like the pattern of A. sp. Rio Ucayali, moreso than the tail of A. hoplogenys.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by YSR50 »

https://youtu.be/Br5dvxydlCI?t=9m30s

edit: Just read your reply on youtube. Thought we had a match
Last edited by YSR50 on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

You have a very good eye to connect my fish with the Aquarium Co-op video of Eric Bodrock's talk at Cataclysm.

The fish shown in that video belong to Danny Blundell in the UK. He's seen my video and he tells me that although my large fish looks similar to his, he says it is not the same as his. Also, he's spawned his orange Ancistrus, and his juveniles do not look anything like my smaller fish.

I wish my fish had been the same as his, because that would have solved my dilemma trying to ID my fish. :-)

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

If I can collect fin clippings, is anyone (who is able and willing to do DNA testing) be interested in ID'ing these Ancistrus? Is there enough pre-existing, known DNA data on other Ancistrus species to be able to put an unknown group (these fish) into systematic context?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

The big fish is blackening a little as it settles in. But still more orange/red than anyone else. Everybody is eating well. :-)
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by Fundulopanchax76 »

Maybe some kind of hybrids ?

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Don't know yet. Honestly, given the classic coloration of the smallest fish, I don't suspect hybrids.

My guess is either (1) if wild caught (as initially reported by LFS), then these may be a particularly colorful localized population of something like A. sp. Rio Ucayali. Or (2) if captive bred (which I'm still not sure about either, since LFS reported wild caught), then I can imagine that these are a color variant resulting from inbreeding of a small population of fish of the same species which had unusual color to begin with.

Since even the largest fish is still pretty small ~62-65mm SL), these are just my ideas for now... no factual evidence for either option other than the observation that the smallest fish really do resemble almost perfectly normal A. sp. Rio Ucayali.

Cheers,
Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Colorwise, I suppose we can call it a seven-point variety. :-D

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by Birger »

Or (2) if captive bred (which I'm still not sure about either, since LFS reported wild caught)
I have seen enough tanks full of as posted wild caught albino fish that I pay no attention to it unless I absolutely trust who is saying this.

birger

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Birger wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:32 pm
I have seen enough tanks full of as posted wild caught albino fish that I pay no attention to it unless I absolutely trust who is saying this.
Agreed. I'm not holding my breath that these are wild caught.

The bottom line is that the LFS orders both WC and captive bred fish, from several different and mostly reliable sources, but the owner can't recall with certainty which source provided these specific plecos; therefore, since he's not sure of source, he's acknowledged that he can't know if WC or captive bred... All he was sure of was that they cost a lot for a bristlenose. I'd guess that the odds are about 50-50 that these are captive-bred in Czechoslovakia, but I'd reduce the odds down to about 5% that these are wild.

My bigger point is that I seriously doubt they're interspecific hybrids. Line bred? Quite possibly. If only I could find someone qualified and willing to process a fin clip for DNA analysis to determine what these are most closely related to.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

Sorry for so many pics. I keep thinking if I try again, I'll get a perfect photo without yellow and with fins flared. This pic is with a flashlight in one hand and with camera flash too. The extra flashlight created a spotlight effect on the fish (uneven, concentrated lighting) but did get rid of most of the yellow tint.

This is one of the mid-sized fish and a smaller one too.

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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

The smallest look like pretty normal Ancistrus sp`rio_ucayali`.
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by amazonaquatics »

Love these guys. There are so many undescribed Ancistrus out there, it’s great to see some entering the hobby! Good luck!
Joe M.
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

UPDATE:

After continuing talks with my LFS owner and with the two companies he recently got shipments from, it appears that these fish are the captive-bred Ancistrus sp`rio_ucayali` sold by Petra Aqua in Czechoslovakia, rather than any wild-caught fish from Ruinemans.

Although the lovely and striking (but atypical) red fins persist in my fish, the spotted orange color of the largest fish appears to have been just stress coloration. It's gone now and replaced by the black body and larger, coalescing iridescent spots.
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Ancistrus 2018-01-01 (2).jpg
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Re: Ancistrus ID please?

Post by bekateen »

These fish look different every time I look at them! 8-}
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