Although Apistogramma mendezi can be imported only occasionally and is also rarely bred the beautiful species is known to develop a great number of local varieties. Additionally males of the very same local population show a high degree of polychromatism. The term polychromatism means that animals can show a differing individual colour pattern which leads to the observation that different colored animals can be found together.
Currently we have a very attractive morph of A. mendezi in stock. The caudal fin of the fish has broad, longitudinal stripes in the lower part and round spots in the upper. Moreover the so called “belly stripe” below the lateral stripe is very distinctive in this population. It is very likely that this contrasting pattern is a result of the necessity that the females have to recognize the males of their own species. For our population of A. mendezi lives along with (= syntopically) the following, very similar species:
This dwarf cichlid also lives in the dead leaves along the shores of blackwater streams as A. mendezi does. Usually these very similar species of Apistoramma live in geografically distinct areas. But it was suspected already for a long time that A. mendezi and A. paucisquamis could live syntopically in some regions eastern from Barcelos in the Rio Negro. Our specimes were imported mixed, so we think that they live together in the wild.
As in most cichlids, the females of Apistogramma choose the males and not the other way round. If similar species occur together, this leads usually to the fact that the males have to have a very distinct coloration, for otherwise the females cannot choose the correct males. In Apistogramma paucisquamis the males are characterized by the vertically striped caudal fin.
One might think the the fish do look very different, based on the pictures in this newsletter. But this misleads in so far, as the fish look very much alike when frightened or in neutral mood.
Like all Apistogramma species these two attractive dwarf cichlids need clean, germ-poor water and a bottom of fine sand . Hardness an pH are of lesser interest as long as the fish should be kept only, but for breeding attempts they need extremely soft and acidic water. Especially males of A. mendezi are quite gruff against the females, so the breeding tank should be rather large. Regarding food both species are undemanding and feed readily on any type of usual fish food, even dried ones.
For our customers: A. mendezi has code 624813 on our stocklist, A. paucisquamis 626313. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon. Apistogramma: ancient Greek, means “with unreliable line”. It is not known wether the lateral line organ or the pattern is meant. mendezi: dedication name for Chico Mendez, an eco-activist who fought against the destruction of the rainforest and was murdered by cattle barons in 1988. paucisquamis: Latin, means “with only few scales”, which refers to the low number of scales around the caudal peduncle.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
|Angaben zum Tier|
|Herkunft||Brasilien / Brazil|
|Verfügbare Größe in cm||4-6|