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Brachyrhaphis Hartwegi
December 20, 2009
5:30 am
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johnpeten
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I am taking a break from cichlids for the moment. My boys brought a netfull of these livebearers up from the shallows. This is the only Brachyrhaphis found in Guatemala. What there is available in databases, states that both sexes are identical but males can be identified by their gonopodium. Which I notice is very obvious /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />
A scientific study, which I didn't fully understand, mentioned that the female imitates the male gonopodium by colouring the anal fin. No reason was stated, but I guess this is done by the females because they have many headaches and don't want the boys bothering them. /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />
However the photo shows what I have stated above but the female has the usual slight abdomenal bulge and the male is perfectly slim.
They have settled in very quickly. They are surface feeders on insects that fall into the water but they are feeding happily on crushed flake and FD bloodworms, scooping the surface like Mollies..
There are about 30 from about 3/4 of an inch to an inch.
The locals call them poopos. I haven't figured that out yet.

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December 20, 2009
9:02 am
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keith565
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wow, you lucky so and so,lol. what i would give to have these kinds of fish in my neighbourhood.
any chance of getting more pics as i think the flash may have wiped out a bit of their colour?
although this is not the most colourful of the species, i think roseni has to be the nicest brachy in my opinion.

December 20, 2009
9:10 am
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pablito
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The locals call them poopos. I haven't figured that out yet.
[/quote]

John is there any part of the local domestic sewage system that does or used to drain into the lake?
This might explain the local nickname.

December 20, 2009
10:45 am
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (pablito @ Dec 20 2009, 02:53 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
John is there any part of the local domestic sewage system that does or used to drain into the lake?
This might explain the local nickname.


Hi Pablito.
Comprendo lo que tu dices.
That is what I thought they were saying and questioned them about this. The pronunciation is slightly different.
On this side of the Lake we don't have any sort of sewage system.
I will get my boys to write down the words, perhaps I can get a better phonetic version of both the words in question.
John

December 20, 2009
11:05 am
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coelacanth
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QUOTE (pablito @ Dec 20 2009, 08:53 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
John is there any part of the local domestic sewage system that does or used to drain into the lake?

He always has to bring it down to the scatological doesn't he? The man's obsessed with anything to do with the "porcelain aquarium"!

December 20, 2009
11:41 am
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (keith565 @ Dec 20 2009, 02:45 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
the flash may have wiped out a bit of their colour?
although this is not the most colourful of the species, i think roseni has to be the nicest brachy in my opinion.


B.roseni one of the most recently described B. species, bringing the total to eleven is certainly the prettiest.
Our hartwegi have very little colour but I attach some more photos. Some of the females have what I first thought to be gravid spots. They are a deeper blue colouration. Perhaps they are gravid spots?

Like yourselves our weather has deteriorated. The daytime highs have dropped down to a chilly 27° C /angry.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":angry:" border="0" alt="angry.gif" /> with a heavy overcast. When the Sun appears again I will try some more photos.

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[Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found]

December 20, 2009
3:17 pm
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Matt
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I'm already surrounded by caganers and now we have a poo-fish... /blink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blink:" border="0" alt="blink.gif" />

John is this a first record for your area? The only info I can find relates areas further south around Suchitepéquez Dept....

Cake or death?
December 20, 2009
6:58 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Matt @ Dec 20 2009, 09:00 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm already surrounded by caganers and now we have a poo-fish... /blink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blink:" border="0" alt="blink.gif" />

John is this a first record for your area? The only info I can find relates areas further south around Suchitepéquez Dept....


Hi Matt
The history of the Caganer was very amusing and surprising and as you say you are in the middle of the tradition. I hope you have one of the dolls, an interesting talking point on your mantlepiece.

I have downloaded the original descriptions by Rosen and Bailey. The holotype fits my photos exactly.

Apparently originally found in Chiapas, Mexico and searches in Guatemala were fruitless. This is the first report from Lake Peten where it is one of the most common fish found in the shallows.
I obviously have a lot more reading to do. The female equipment is still intriguing me.
The vast amount of time spent on Gonopodium research with large quantities of drawings appears a little perverse /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" /> but it is a major feature and necessary I suppose.
I found a comment from a hobbyist that this genera females produce about 25 fry once a month. I will try and net one of the larger females with a gravid spot and put her in a breeder to try and save some fry.
John

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December 20, 2009
7:11 pm
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Matt
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Yeah I thought it'd be a new record, very cool indeed. From what I've been reading today the females of some Brachyrhaphis spp. have evolved to use their anal fin colouration in social interactions but hartwegi is said to be the species in which this has developed the least i.e. the anal fin of females and gonopodium in males are more typical of other Poeciliids in form.

If you liked the caganer stuff you'll probably also find the Tió de Nadal, better known as 'Caga tió' (sh**ting log), tradition amusing. /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

Cake or death?
December 21, 2009
12:43 am
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johnpeten
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I have now sorted out the local name for these livebearers. They are pupo or bute. The other stuff is popo. During casual conversation I discover that a much larger fish about 3 to 4 inches exists, which looks like this livebearer. I am assured it is identical but cannot be of course. This is another challenge for the boys to capture. They also assure me that a completely black fish exists which looks like a female swordtail, yet another challenge for them.
They have had their final briefing and supplied with their camping basics. They will leave at first light on Monday for the jungle. They will return on Wednesday hopefully with freshwater shrimp and cichlids indigenous to the Usumacinta drainage. The weather forecast does not look good and they will need the waterproof ponchos that I have supplied.

December 21, 2009
5:19 pm
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johnpeten
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Having studied all the available data, mostly supplied by Matt. this species has not been found on the Atlantic slope of Guatemala. The fish frequents the Lake Peten shallows in abundance and is hard not to notice. My only conclusion is that nobody has looked and during the investigation into Brachyrhaphis in the 80s our civil war was in full progress and nobody came here.

The comments by my boys that a much larger fish, apparently identical exists, is very valid.
This is the Belonesox.belizanus listed as found in Lake Peten, with the male growing to 8 inches and the female to about 5 inches. Not a friendly fish for the aquarium as it is predator with large mouth and teeth.

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December 21, 2009
8:40 pm
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johnpeten
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During the Phylogeny study( development of a group: the evolutionary history of a species, genus, or group) of Brachyrhaphis the following remarks were made:-
Brachyrhaphis holdridgei,B . roseni,B . rhabdophora, and B. punctifer resemble the deep-bodied B. episcopi and B. terrabensisin body depth and color pattern. All have black, orange, yellow, and/or red pigments accenting their fins; olivaceous bodies; and vertical bars along the flank. Brachyrhaphis cascajalensis and B. parismina lack these pigments, whereas B. hartwegi is yellow throughout.

I have now been able to take some photos without flash, using ISO 400 (loss of quality)
Thanks Keith for goading me into the effort.

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December 21, 2009
11:21 pm
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Matt
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Hmmm, they look more yellowish in those shots and you can also see the dark lateral stripe on the female which is mentioned in some of the papers. They're definitely not young Belonesox that's for sure...

Your "boys" have an enviable job. /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" />

Cake or death?
December 22, 2009
1:24 pm
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johnpeten
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Belonesox.belizanus inaptly named the top minnow is the largest member of the Poeciliidae family.
I mentioned that it would not be a friendly candidate for the Aquarium.
However if anybody should have the urge here is a drawing of its skull. It would be sensible not to dangle ones fingers in the tank

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December 23, 2009
12:01 am
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Matt
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...or gonopodium, presumably... /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

Cake or death?
December 23, 2009
5:58 pm
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fish48
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[Image Can Not Be Found]

Brachyrhaphis Hartwegi (escuintilia, mexico, (female

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December 23, 2009
7:58 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (fish48 @ Dec 23 2009, 11:41 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>

Brachyrhaphis Hartwegi (escuintilia, mexico, (female


Thanks for the photo. What is the source of this photo.
The location mentioned for hartwegi is correct, actually ESCUINTLA, SOCONUSCO DIST. CHIAPAS. MEXICO
In view of the fact that two other species have recently been described, making a total of eleven, we may have yet another species in Lake Peten.

December 24, 2009
9:57 pm
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Matt
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Are you going to preserve any then John?

Cake or death?
December 24, 2009
10:10 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Matt @ Dec 24 2009, 03:40 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you going to preserve any then John?


Not sure what you mean Matt. Make fish jam perhaps? /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />

December 26, 2009
12:38 pm
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Matt
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As appealing as fish jam sounds I was thinking of preservation in alcohol. /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> Maybe someone would be interested in taking a closer look at these...

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