Telmatherina bonti

21. November 2008

The Malili lake system on Sulawesi (former Celebes) is home of spectacular shrimps, snails and mussels which are exported for the hobby. Now the import of an endemic atherinoid species was successful, namely Telmatherina bonti.

Like many atherinoides of the Malili lakes this species is polychromatic, which means that males and females appear in different sports. In T. bonti, which by the way differs from all other Telmatherina species by lacking filamentous extensions in the first dorsal fin rays, yellow, white and yellow-white individuals exist. In nature they occur in mixed schools and there is no sexual preference observable (in the sense that yellow females prefer to mate with yellow males for example). So these sports are definitely not races or subspecies. The meaning of the polychromatism is unknown.

In the aquarium, T. bonti, which can grow to approx. 8cm length, is a very peaceful and lively fish. Keeping is easy, if one considers that the water in the Malili lakes is always rather warm (approx. 28°C) and its pH value is always over 8. Both should be simulated in the aquarium. All usual dry and frozen fishfood is taken readily. Eggs are laid in plants. The fish are permanent spawners. Telmatherina bonti excites with its lively nature and the constant courtship. It never gets boring to watch a school of this fish – and it should always be a school!

For our customers: the fish has code 461235 on our stocklist.Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Telmatherina: the word “telma” is ancient Greek and means “swamp”; Atherina is another genus of fish. bonti: after the indigenous name applied to the fish at Towuti lake: “bonti-bonti”.

Suggestion of a common name: Towuti Rainbowfish

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Sulawesi
Verfügbare Größe in cm 4-6