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Sicydium salvini migration
January 13, 2011
6:03 pm
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nuchal man
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I know there are a lot of goby fans on the site so I thought I'd post this. I'm in Costa Rica researching cichlids and a few days ago was at the Osa Peninsula in the Southwest of the country. I hit one river in the Osa called the Rio Barigones and snorkeled it. As I hit the water I noticed what appeared to be a river inside the river made of millions of little fish swimming up stream. I dipped my head in and saw they were little Sicydium gobies (.5-1 inch long). I believe these were making there way back up the river from the ocean as it's not very far from the ocean at all. The video I have isn't great and doesn't due justice to the amount of Sicydium in the river, but you can get an idea of what it was like.

Here are some photos of adult Sicydium salvini from the area

[Image Can Not Be Found]

[Image Can Not Be Found]

January 13, 2011
6:43 pm
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Plaamoo
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Love it! Thanks for sharing!! I was down there about ten years ago, amazing place!! Camped at La Leona and hiked up the Rio Madrigal. I think maybe the most awe inspring place I've been! Any chance of bringing a few of those back ?/wub.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wub:" border="0" alt="wub.gif" />

January 13, 2011
7:27 pm
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nuchal man
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Unfortunately not this year although I thought about it. Good news is they are extremely common throughout the area and would be easy to collect.

January 14, 2011
12:58 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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That's amazing. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Any idea how they look as adults Sam?

You must tell us more about your work!

Cake or death?
January 14, 2011
2:35 am
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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QUOTE (Matt @ Jan 13 2011, 04:41 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's amazing. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> Any idea how they look as adults Sam?

You must tell us more about your work!

X2! Can I have more please?

January 14, 2011
3:41 am
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nuchal man
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My bad, I typed in the wrong species. I was on the Atlantic side of the country a few days ago and there you find S. adelum. On the Pacific, where the fish from this post are it is Sicydium salvini. Can a mod go in and change it in the title for me please so it reads Sicydium salvini Migration. I changed it to the proper species in the post.

Matt, the fish in the photos are adults around 3.5 inches long. I believe they are females. I don't have a photo of the male, but they are nice. They are larger and I've seen some 5-6 inches in length.Although not super colorful, the males are olive and have some spotting to them as the center of each scale has a dark spot. They are somewhat lighter ventrally. Males also develop nice extensions to their dorsal which is also a little lighter in color.

I'm an undergraduate student doing work on breeding behavior and fry development on the cichlids of Central America. I'm in Costa Rica to gather some data and am towards the end of my near 3 week stay. It was just by chance I hit this river at the right time to see the migration.

Glad everyone likes the video

January 14, 2011
8:18 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Cool job! I've edited the topic title for you. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cake or death?
January 15, 2011
3:34 am
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nuchal man
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Thanks for the edit Matt.

It's a ton of fun, tiring but fun. I went last year and the weather was much better as far as doing fieldwork is concerned. I'm based at the La Selva field station for this trip and we got flooded out of our cabinas. It's been lots of rain and for me, not many cichlids breeding due to the high waters and extremely swift currents. The gobies like it though. I've got more fish pics, including gobies, and other fish from the trip if people want to see them.

January 15, 2011
7:10 am
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Plaamoo
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QUOTE (nuchal man @ Jan 14 2011, 07:17 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've got more fish pics, including gobies, and other fish from the trip if people want to see them.

Are you kidding? Of course we want to see them! Please!!

January 15, 2011
12:47 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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What he said. /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

Cake or death?
January 15, 2011
1:12 pm
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JazzBora150
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theres a lot to be said about seeing fish in their natural surroundings as behavior will be so different to a tank set up

January 15, 2011
4:54 pm
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nuchal man
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[Image Can Not Be Found]
Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio Herediana" male, non-breeding color.

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Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio Herediana" female, non-breeding color.

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Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio Herediana" female, breeding color guarding fry.

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Alfaro cultratus "Rio Herediana"

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Cryptoheros siquia (Convict Cichlid) Rio San Jose

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Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio San Jose" female, breeding color guarding fry.

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Astatheros alfari "Rio San Jose"

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Neetroplus nematopus female in breeding color guarding fry.

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Hypsophrys nicaraguensis juvenile

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Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio Corinto" female, non-breeding color.

January 15, 2011
4:57 pm
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nuchal man
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[Image Can Not Be Found]
Cryptoheros septemfasciatus "Rio Corinto male in non-breeding color.

[Image Can Not Be Found]
Parachromis dovii "Rio Corinto" youngster

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Neoheterandria umbratilis "Rio Corinto"

I'll add more photos tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy!

January 15, 2011
7:12 pm
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andy rushworth
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Beautiful pics of very nice fish /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" /> love those little Livebearers !

January 16, 2011
12:19 am
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Cool_Citrus
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Very nice pictures keep posting them /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

January 16, 2011
3:16 am
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Thanks Sam! Great shots!!

January 16, 2011
12:05 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Brilliant Sam thanks for posting! Do the cichlids breed year-round there?

Cake or death?
January 17, 2011
3:38 am
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nuchal man
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Thanks everyone.

Matt, the cichlids can potentially breed year round. It is dependent almost entirely on water temperature and river height, flow, velocity. As far as temperature goes, I've seen a few of the species with eggs and fry as cold as 70 °F. Of course, there are fewer numbers of breeding pairs at this time and the highest amount of breeding pairs I've seen has been when the water temps are warmer, in the mid-high 70's.

What is far more interesting is fish breeding in relation to river height, flow, velocity. This depends almost solely on the size of the egg of the fish. Larger eggs mean larger fry, which means they will be able to cope with faster water better. Rivers can change here real fast. Just the other day the river rose 20 feet in 2-3 hours (It sucked, I got evacuated for the night from the building at the field station I was staying at). Today it went down 10 feet.

The only fish that really has fry no matter what the water height/velocity is is Tomocichla tuba. This is a highly rheophilic cichlid, often times I only see non-breeding individuals in very swift stretches of the river that I often have trouble swimming in (holding on to rocks for dear life). When they spawn, they do pick slower flowing water. They lay the largest eggs of any fish in Costa Rica. When they are first free swimming, the fry are about 1/3 of an inch long. this is huge by Central American Cichlid standards. They are the only fish that can swim through about any current in the river. All of the other species typically lose their fry during these high water periods as they get swept downstream. Larger fry may survive, but smaller ones will not make it. Another large species that has large fry is Parachromis dovii, the wolf cichlid. These fry are constantly on the move and can also survive some swift current, but not to the extent that T. tuba can.

The other fish species seem to breed between large storms (Ex. Cryptoheros and Astatheros species). They know then they can spawn and raise their fry to a size where they can survive faster water. It takes a lot of energy to breed and guard fry to only have them wash down river.

January 17, 2011
3:58 am
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nuchal man
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More Pics!

[Image Can Not Be Found]
Tomocichla tuba guarding in breeding color guarding fry. Photo in the Rio San Jose.

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Tomocihla tuba guarding fry in the Rio San Jose. They develop a striking mask on their face when guarding eggs and fry.

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Tomocichla tuba fry the mom from the photos above was guarding. They are cute and have a nice bumble bee patter.

Astyanax sp. (I believe A. aeneus) feeding frenzy on a piece of coconut in the Rio Bratsi.

Crpyoheros myrnae guarding fry in the Rio Bratsi.

Everyones favorite, the Convict Cichlid (This keys out to be siquia if following Schmitter-Soto 2007). guarding fry in the Rio Cabuyo.

Astatheros alfari guarding fry in the Rio Cabuyo.

Parachromis dovii female guarding fry in the Rio Cabuyo.

January 17, 2011
4:47 am
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Shankar
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Awesome Sam! Keep more coming. : )

Thanks for sharing.

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