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Nomorhamphus ebrardtii?
February 16, 2012
3:32 pm
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RitaA
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February 16, 2012
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I have one question for you. This is purchased as wild-caught Nomorhamhus ebrardtii but I think it's a N. Hageni because of the color in the tail fin. Am I right?

There is little information to find on the internet, but this is part of what makes me unsure of the identity:
"Key to commonly traded Nomorhamphus
1. Straight beak, solid orange or red fins: N. ebrardtii
2. Curly beak, fins marked with red, black, and blue: N. liemi
3. Straight beak, dorsal and anal fin orange, tail orange only towards its base: N. hageni
4. Straight beak, dorsal and tail fins red, pelvic and anal fins yellow: N. ravnaki
5. Straight beak, slightly marbled, grey body and grey fins: N. towoetii"

"This is one of several species sold as the Celebes halfbeak, and is sometimes included in batches of Nomorhamphus liemi liemi. In contrast to that species, N. ebrardtii has a straight beak and solid red or orange dorsal, ventral, anal, and tail fins. It has no blue or black on the fins or beak. Lookalike species include N. hageni, which has orange dorsal and anal fins but orange only at the base of the tail, and N. ravnaki, which has red dorsal and tail fins but a yellow anal fin."

I have five females and some juveniles (eight weeks old) and all look the same in color and beak.

February 16, 2012
6:10 pm
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RitaA
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February 16, 2012
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Some photos without flash.

Nomorhampus-ebrardtii-750x500-2.jpgImage Enlarger

February 20, 2012
8:55 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Hi Rita,

Both N. ebradtii and N. hageni were described by Popta in the same paper and have pretty much the same type locality (N. erbradtii: Kabaena, Penango and Rumbia-Ebene, southeastern Sulawesi; N. hageni: Penango and Rumbia-Ebene, southeastern Sulawesi). According to him N. hageni differs by having a deeper body, 'slightly different' head ratio, larger number of 'better fixed' scales, a darker colouration with black flecks on the shoulder (H. erbradtii has similar markings on the base of the pectoral fins) and ventral fins positioned more anteriorly.

The most recent comparative reference I can find is Meisner (2001) who states "Nomorhamphus hageni is known only from the original collection made in 1909. The type series is in poor condition, females have been dissected and all fin rays have deteriorated... The identity of this species will likely remain in question until fresh material from the type locality is available."

It seems that these red/orange-finned ones might therefore all be geographical variants of a single species so maybe best referred to as N. cf. erbradtii for the time being??

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