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Apistogramma sp. Erdfresser


  1. A. sp Erdfesser
    by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/> (Thu, 04 Mar 1999)
  2. Erdfresser
    by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/> (Thu, 04 Mar 1999)
  3. A. sp Erdfesser
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/> (Thu, 04 Mar 1999)

A. sp Erdfesser

by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999
To: apisto/ wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Can anyone give me some info on this fish...all I know is that this is the
> fish pictured as A. pulchra in the Bork & Mayland book. Does the text also
> refer to this fish (i believe so???)
> Thanks,
> Jason

this fish was first mentioned by Kullander in the scientific description 
of A. hippolytae (published in DKG-Journal). About three or four years 
ago, I have sent him some fish from Rio Ipixuna (Rio Purus drainage) 
westward from Humaitá that he identified as so.
More recently, in a paper named "Apistogramma aus Porto Velho" 
(published in DATZ), Stawikowski published a picture from this species, 
remarked Bork & Mayland mistake, and said it came from "Porto Velho" 
(obviously a mistake, this is the export city of the fish, not the 
locality where it was collected!).
I've collected it along Rio Ipixuna and its tributaries, in the "praias" 
(sandy shores) sympatric with A. agassizii and A. resticulosa. Both 
agassizii and resticulosa are also found in the Madeira-drainage, closer 
to Humaitá; but as far as I'm concerned, A. sp. Erdfresser is found in 
Purus-drainage only.
It seems to be a A. pertensis-group fish, although lyre-tailed. Not 
difficult to breed, it is NOT from blackwater. Sometimes shy in 
aquarium, like other A. pertensis-group fishes.


by Marco Lacerda <marcolacerda/>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999
To: apisto-list <apisto/>

Some additional notes about the Erdfresser-Apisto:

1) Erdfresser means "eartheater" in German.

2) A couple of years ago, in ACA convention (Chicago), this species was 
in the show under the incorrect name of A. steindachneri.
I've talked with the fish breeder, and he told me that the pair in the 
show was F1 from fish collected in the lower Rio Purus, near its 
confluence with Amazon river.
So the fish is not only present in the upper Purus, but also in lower 

3) To MIKE WISE: can you clear in which way this fish is mentioned in 
the original description of A. hippolytae? Does it also occur in other 
localities than the Purus drainage (according to the referred paper)?
What else did Kullander mention about it in the paper?

A. sp Erdfesser

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999
To: apisto/


I'll just add a little to Marco's expert report. A. sp. Erdfresser (Earth-eater)
is known commercially in North America (when available) by Marco's trade name A.
sp. Lyretail Purus and in the Far East as A. sp. Rondonia. All things considered,
Marco's name is the most descriptive. Yes, all the care & breeding information
(what little there is of it) in the Mayland & Bork book under A. pulchra applies
to A. sp. Lyretail Purus.

I tentatively consider it  a member of the pertensis-group (slender body, sailfin
in males, little sexual dimorphism, unpigmented anterior dorsal spines, and no
scales on the breast area). It is also probably assignable to the
pertensis-complex/sub-group (1st 3 dorsal spines separate from sailfin, lateral
band ending in front of a caudal peduncle spot). I only tentatively put it in
this group & complex because it has several features that are anomalous to them.
A. sp. Lyretail Purus is the only species in the pertensis-group that has a
darkened anterior dorsal fin and a completely scaled breast area. In addition it
is the only pertensis-complex species with a lyretail. In many respects it
reminds me of species in the steindachneri-group, especially the narrow lateral
band and prominent caudal spot. The dark front edges of the flank scales make it
look like it has chevron like vertical bars, typical in steindachneri-group
species. These are probably the reasons Heiko Bleher mistakenly ID'd it at the
Chicago ACA convention as A. steindachneri. It, however, doesn't have the
enlarged flank patch that's diagnostic of steindachneri-group species.

For Marco's edification, I'll translate what Dr. Kullander wrote about A. sp.
Lyretail Purus in his description of A. hippolytae:

"An additional specimen of an Apistogramma species was found together with the
type series of A. hippolytae (Fig. 3). It is a male about 37.0 mm SL and belongs
to an undescribed species of uncertain relationship. Superficially it is similar
to A. pertensis yet is very different in having a dark anterior dorsal fin and an
entirely scaled breast. The preoperculum is serrated. The caudal fin is squared
off with obvious dorsal and ventral extensions. The coloration is fairly
different from that of A. hippolytae particularly, for example, with regards to
the [lack of a] flank patch."

Since the holotype & part of the paratypes come from an igarapé of the Lago
Manacapuru and the remainder of the paratypes come from the middle Rio Negro (Rio
Urubaxi & Rio Daraá), we can extend the distribution of A. sp. Lyretail Purus to
the left (north) bank of the Amazon. It may also occur with A. hippolytae in the
Rio Tefé, but no one has reported this yet.

Mike Wise wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> Can anyone give me some info on this fish...all I know is that this is the
> fish pictured as A. pulchra in the Bork & Mayland book. Does the text also
> refer to this fish (i believe so???)
> Thanks,
> Jason
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