The concept of subspecies is denied by many recent ichthyologists. They argument that there are either differences – in that case the fish are full species – or there are no differences – in that case they don´t have to be named at all. However, this argumentation does not consider the existing fact that both may be true: there are clear differences that may be found in a peculiar geografic range, but also intergrades that may be found in border-regions between two neighbouring populations. In many species of killifish the coloration is diagnostic for geografic populations, but these populations can usually interbreed with other populations at least under aquarium conditions.
There do exist descriptions of three subspecies of the Gabon killi: A. gabunense gabunense, A. g. boehmi, and A. g. marginatum. We obtained now beautiful animals from a breeder under the name of A. marginatum. Do they represent a subspecies of A. gabunense or a separate, full species? We don´t now and – honestly speaking – we don´t mind too much. From our point of vew it is of much greater interest that the fish are healthy and look great!
In respect of the aquarium biology A. g. marginatum can be compared best with its much better known cousin, A. australe (the Lyretail killi). Like that species, A. g. marginatum is a substrate spawner. The eggs can be hatched under water, they do not need a dry phase necessarily. These killifish become 2-3 yars old under aquarium conditions and are – in this respect – comparable with guppy & co.
For our customers: the fish have code 311503 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer