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Apistogramma balzfleck group


  1. Culled?
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Mon, 19 Oct 1998)
  2. Pertensis
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Tue, 06 Apr 1999)


by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998
To: apisto/

Apistogramma sp. Tiquié (you don't need the "1"; there isn't a "2", etc.) is a
real undescribed species discovered by Uwe Römer in the Rio Tiquié, a tributary
of the middle Rio Uaupés in northern Brazil. Pictures of both a male & female are
pictured in on page 25 of: Römer, 1995, Uaupes, Aqua Geõgraphia, v.11, 1/95:6-27.
The fins have been nipped, that's why it so ragged. It belongs to a group of tiny
apistos belonging to what I have called the Balzfleck-Group.

The Balzfleck-Group has many unusual features that characterize it. They are an
advanced species-group (having reduced cephalic pore counts), but exhibit
primitive physical features (low dorsal, round caudal, and display almost no
sexual dimorphism). They are all tiny species (less than 1 3/4 in. or 4.5 cm TL)
with the male being SMALLER than the female! They have moderately elongate and
slightly fusiform bodies, lack most pigmentation on the anterior dorsal fin rays,
normally possess an enlarged lateral spot (flank patch), and where known tend to
be preferentially monogamous. Those members that have been spawned in aquaria
show a very unusual breeding behavior. The males actively seek out females with
which to spawn. He then initiates courtship by dancing in front of his intended
female, shimmying and displaying an enhanced lateral spot. He then entices the
female to enter the breeding cave he has previously selected and breed there.
This is basically the opposite of other apistos.

The Balzfleck-Group presently has at least 3 and possibly 7 species in it. These

A. sp. Balzfleck (Courting-spot) - Rio Uraricuera (upper Rio Branco), Brazil.
A. sp. Felsen (Rock) - Rio Negro? Possibly a pertensis-group fish belonging to
the iniridae-complex.
A. sp. Minima - upper Rio Negro/Orinoco area?
A. sp. Orangesaum (Orange-rim) - Upper Rio Orinoco, Colombia/Venezuela? Probably
a geographic color variant of A. sp. Minima.
A. sp. Pimental - Rio Pimental (Wherever that is - Even Marco couldn't help me!)
Possibly the same as A. sp. Balzfleck.
A. sp. Tiquié - Rio Tiquié, Brazil.
A. sp. Weißsaum (White-rim) - upper Rio Negro/Orinoco area? Probably another
color variant of A. sp. Minima.

I don't think A. sp. Tiquié has ever been imported for the hobby. For that matter
little is known about any of the Balzfleck-Group species. None are real "keepers"
where it comes to looks. They only come in as contaminants with other species.

Now for the next Aqualog questions.
What species is shown on the bottom right, page 51 (S03715-3)?
What species is shown on the second row, page 59 (S03835-3) AND third row, page
62 (S03870-4)? Do they look the same to you?
Mike Wise wrote:

> It seems to me that on pp 70 of Aqualog top left sp "Tiquie 1" is a fish that
> mother nature forgot to cull. Is it really a species?
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by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 1999
To: apisto/


A. sp. Orangesaum (Orange-rim/seam) is one of several tiny species that form the
Balzfleck-group. The Balzfleck-group is characterized by their:
1. small size - <5 cm/2" TL;
2. moderately elongate, slightly fusiform body shape;
3. lack of sexual dimorphism, although the females are slightly LARGER than males
in most species;
4. low dorsal fin with no long posterior extension;
5. round caudal fin, usually with concentric arcs of spot-rows ending in a
different colored rim;
6. a prominent flank patch similar to that seen on steindachneri-group species;
7. where known, are strictly monogamous.

Included in the Balzfleck-group are:
A. sp. Balzfleck (Courting-spot)
A. sp. Minima
A. sp. Orangesaum (Orange-rim)
A. sp. Pimental
A. sp. Tiquié
A. sp. Weißsaum (White-rim)

I believe that A. sp. Minima & Weißsaum are the same species; and that Orangesaum
is just a different color form. Others believe that Orangesaum is a separate
species. Most are blackwater species originating in the Rio Negro system. A. sp.
Balzfleck comes from the Rio Uraricuera, a tributary of the upper Rio Branco. A.
sp. Tiquié comes from the Rio Tiquié, a tributary of the upper Rio Uaupés on the
Rio Negro. No precise distribution data are known for the other species. A. sp.
Pimental is thought to come from the lower Amazon, possibly the Rio Tapajós or
Rio Xingu. A. sp. Minima/Orangesaum/Weißsaum come in with fish like Dicrossus
filamentosus and Paracheirodon axelrodi (Cardinals/Red Neons). This would
indicate the upper Rio Negro/Orinoco as their source.

One of the interesting behavioral characteristics of these species is that the
males initiate spawning. They try to entice the slightly larger females toward a
preselected cave by dancing in front of them and displaying their large flank
patch. This is the opposite of other apistos, where the females select the cave
and entice the male to it. A. sp. Balzfleck & Pimental breed under white water
conditions: pH 6.0 and low dH. The others are true blackwater species that
require pH values from 4 - 5.5 and no hardness at all. If given the opportunity,
females cover the entrance to their caves after spawning and only open it once
the fry become freeswimming. If they can't cover the opening, spawnings are
usually unsuccessful.

Mike Wise

Tim Ellis wrote:

> Are there any other pertensis  fish like the A. orangesaum that are from
> the Upper Rio Orinoco area? I have some mystery Apistos from that area
> that lool a lot like  A. orangesaum.
> Tim
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> This is the apistogramma mailing list,
> For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
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