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Alternative pattern? (Sinibotia)
October 9, 2012
2:49 am
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mikev
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October 9, 2012
6:16 am
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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That is a strange one!

October 9, 2012
9:37 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Is it the same size as the fish in the back of the shot?

Cake or death?
October 9, 2012
2:37 pm
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mikev
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Yes.

October 10, 2012
6:45 am
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mikev
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I'm horribly behind on everything, and cannot take another photo right now: they stay under driftwood except for quick runs for food.. but this shot was taken yesterday and shows the entire group:

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fishpic/s-pulchra2.jpgImage Enlarger

There were two "alternative pattern" fishes, one shown, the other one has a completely reddish body, no blemishes. The species was said to be Chinese tiger loach (Sinibotia pulchra "Guangxi" per store invoice). There was actually another tank, labelled Chinese Zebra Loach (per invoice Sinibotia Robusta)... two fishes were indeed Robusta, others some other Sinibotia. I tried but could not figure out if this was another species or not...and no way to have yet another tank with all the new fish, had to pass on them. :( Seem healthy and dirt cheap....
I guess we don't have any easy way to check if these are indeed S.pulchra?

BTW, one of the sinibotia I have now sometimes flipped into full-red color when it was young, but that was a temporary change, and it stopped doing it when it got larger. with the new fish, however, this seems to be permanent coloration. LOL species profile has an intriguing photo of a similar color morph.

October 10, 2012
8:07 am
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Matt
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mikev said 
I guess we don't have any easy way to check if these are indeed S.pulchra?

 

Do you mean the plain-bodied ones here Mike? Striped fish look like S. pulchra to me?

Cake or death?
October 10, 2012
6:05 pm
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mikev
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My (possibly faulty) understanding is that it is nearly impossible to distinguish sinibotia species (other than the robusta) and we tend to call them pulchra believing it is the most common. As for the plain-bodied, we can only make guesses...I do think they are just morphs, but what do I know?

October 11, 2012
8:16 am
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Matt
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Well, there's been no new species of Sinibotia described since a revision with identification key was published in 1992.

That's not to say there aren't some undescribed ones floating about of course, but the striped fish in the hobby do match the S. pulchra diagnosis quite closely, and the species occurs within the area of southern China from which the majority of exports seem to come from (Pearl River basin).

There's some diagnostic info in the profile as well.

Cake or death?
October 12, 2012
8:31 pm
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mikev
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We tried to id them using the 1992 paper 3 or 4 years ago.... my recollection that some of the loaches in the shipment were diagnosed as s.pulchra, and some as s.superciliaris, while we thought that all of them were the same species, so I am very skeptical about this key, and everything related to sinibotia ID'ng (other than very distinct robusta). TBH, I'm also very skeptical about the photos in various profiles, for instance photos 1 and 5 in the SF profile show a pattern that is quite different from photos 2-4. My take here is that 2-4 is the "common" sinibotia which may indeed be s.pulchra, this is in fact the pattern most commonly seen in the hobby, 1 and 5 are something else, but we really don't know. There may be more species out there, and definitely there are local variations that we know nothing about... basically sinibotia was seriously neglected by the ichtiologists and nothing is to be believed until someone makes a serious effort on the ground.

Thank you very much for the email, btw.!

October 12, 2012
9:02 pm
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andy rushworth
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Hi Matt, for some reason I can't enlarge the pics ,a blue line appears with an X or some grey lines ?

 

Mike when Guiliensis appeared there were at least two possible sp/s masquerading as one ?

October 12, 2012
9:45 pm
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mikev
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Donno....

That there are more species is clear, for instance there is also a 2006 paper that reclassifies one of the leptobotias into a sinibotia; for all we know this species might have entered the trade too for more confusion.

I might have posted this before: I ran a phylogeny tree builder on the publicly available data to get this tree:

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fishpic/botine.pngImage Enlarger

Given that this was done on only one gene, the tree may contain inaccuracies, but at least for me there were some revelations from it :D And notice the mysterious species HL 2005, which may be L.zebra or yet another sinibotia.

(I kept the entry names from the Genbank records, thus "Botia Robusta", this way it is easier to check where the data came from.)

October 14, 2012
7:37 pm
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andy rushworth
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Hi Mike , just had a look at the fish in your pic , I wonder if it could be either L. hengyangensis or L. rubrilabris ? I'd condition it for a month or so and then try another pic ! not sure of the locations of these but if they cross paths with Pulchra then you never know  ?

October 15, 2012
1:51 am
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mikev
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Andy,
I don't know these species but I think all leptobotias have wide head, and the two strange fishes I have feature the same head (and everything else) shape as the 6 "normal" sinibotias with them. They also have the same horizontal line on the face (spine). And they behave in the typical juvenile sinibotia pattern. The only difference other than the obvious I can see is the tail pattern: unlike normals, they don't have stripes on it either but instead have a more pronounced "fork" pattern.
Based on this I'm pretty sure they are sinibotia, either the same or closely related species.

I'll take more photos but it will likely take many months... the fish looks conditioned now, and growing another 1-2 inches for the adult size would take time. I'm still trying to photo the second fish... it is more skittish than the rest, would not come to front even for food.

October 16, 2012
8:19 pm
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andy rushworth
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I presume in the overhead group shot its the two plain looking dark fishes ? certainly different ! be interested to find out what you have ?

October 18, 2012
9:12 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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mikev said
TBH, I'm also very skeptical about the photos in various profiles, for instance photos 1 and 5 in the SF profile show a pattern that is quite different from photos 2-4.

I'd be equally sceptical about id'ing a botiid species based on colour pattern. The changes that some species/individuals go through over the course of their lives can be quite dramatic.

Has anyone here raised one of the subadult S. pulchra with the 'common' pattern through to adulthood?

Cake or death?
October 18, 2012
4:21 pm
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Plaamoo
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I've had this one for about 3 years. It's more than 4".This is the best pic I have as i rarely see it! There seems to be a pretty drastic color variation in between the ones I've watched in the shop. Mine is brown with creamish stripes, very little if any sheen. Some have a darker color, closer to black and the stripes are more yellow with a greenish sheen.

 

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z229/bigsky_photos/loaches/DSC_3681.jpgImage Enlarger

October 18, 2012
6:52 pm
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mikev
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I have either 2 or 3 kept for about 5 years, around 4". (I don't know how many because they hide very well....need to strip the tank to make sure :( ). Very similar to plaamoo's photo, and no signs of extreme reticulation as we see in the first photo in the profile. Mad Duff's adult male photo in the profile is also very similar.

I'd ignore color differences because they are quite dependent on the conditioning, mood, etc., but the pattern differences seem to me important.

October 19, 2012
8:16 am
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Matt
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...in that case I think you might be right Mike. The key clearly states that S. pulchra has brown vermiculate (worm-like) markings or spots on the sides of the head, which are missing in Jim and Mark's fish, as well as your pic in this thread.

How many dark stripes do your fish have in the caudal-fin guys?

Cake or death?
October 21, 2012
5:45 am
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mikev
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2 or 3? :

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fishpic/sini-tail.jpgImage Enlarger

Stripeless fish has none.

Fwiw, look at the listing here:

http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin.....1351282658

wormlike marks?

October 21, 2012
2:05 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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The fish in the AB link, that's the color I was trying to describe. It's a stark difference.  I think most of these fish have worm-like marks on their face, but they're not brown.

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