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Amphilophus species - Lake Apoyo

8 years 2 months ago #30545 by baldtaxguy
Replied by baldtaxguy on topic Amphilophus species - Lake Apoyo

The crater lake cichlids can be difficult to ID, but I agree that A. astorquii would seemingly make a nice aquarium species. It is the smallest of the currently described species and the most common in Laguna de Apoyo. I was just wondering what the opinions of aquarists regarding aggression in this species, but apparently, it's not yet in the trade.
Jeffrey McCrary, FUNDECI/GAIA  www.lagunadeapoyo.blogspot.com


I'd love to get my hands on some and the video by Willem Heinjs suggests that they are abundant, so its ironic that other Apoyo (and Xiloá) Amphilophus are in the hobby. 


Love your site and the astorquii video/pics. 

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8 years 2 months ago #30532 by baldtaxguy
Replied by baldtaxguy on topic Amphilophus species - Lake Apoyo

I seriously doubt any of the A. flaveolus individuals out there are correctly labeled.
Jeffrey McCrary, FUNDECI/GAIA  www.lagunadeapoyo.blogspot.com


I have two thoughts on this.  First, to my knowledge, and I have corroborated this with others within the Ohio Cichlid Association, the flaveolous were introduced to the U.S. by Willem Heinjs at the 2009 OCA extravaganza auction event.  I purchased mine from two OCA members who purchased them at that event.  Short of Willem mislabeling them or other hobbyist error/dishonesty, I believe those labeled as flaveolous are accurate.  The source of mine appear on paper and by acquaintance as extremely credible.

Secondly, are flaveolous a distinct species from amarillo? Could have amarillo specimans been introduced into Apoyo and subsequently typed as a distinct species? I have kept both amarillo and flaveolous and to the eye I cannot differentiate the two. I have doubts whether these are two species, vs. one, but I leave that to the science dudes.


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8 years 2 months ago #30531 by baldtaxguy
Replied by baldtaxguy on topic Amphilophus species - Lake Apoyo

The crater lake cichlids can be difficult to ID, but I agree that A. astorquii would seemingly make a nice aquarium species. It is the smallest of the currently described species and the most common in Laguna de Apoyo. I was just wondering what the opinions of aquarists regarding aggression in this species, but apparently, it's not yet in the trade.
Jeffrey McCrary, FUNDECI/GAIA  www.lagunadeapoyo.blogspot.com


I'd love to get my hands on some and the video by Willem Heinjs suggests that they are abundant, so its ironic that other Apoyo (and Xiloá) Amphilophus are in the hobby. 

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8 years 2 months ago #30528 by Jeffrey McCrary
The crater lake cichlids can be difficult to ID, but I agree that A. astorquii would seemingly make a nice aquarium species. It is the smallest of the currently described species and the most common in Laguna de Apoyo. I was just wondering what the opinions of aquarists regarding aggression in this species, but apparently, it's not yet in the trade.

Another issue is exporting. To my knowledge, no one has obtained a permit to export any of the crater lake cichlids for commercial purposes from Nicaragua yet. If someone is indeed exporting from Nicaragua, it would be nice to have a confirmation on the species and some traceability on the shipment. In this way, some ID errors could be resolved at the start of the process. I seriously doubt any of the A. flaveolus individuals out there are correctly labeled. Another issue is that some current species might get split into finer detail levels soon. A third reason is that permiting the exportations engages the Nicaraguan government pro-actively. This might help with tracing later for heritage purposes and will especially help with the conservation of each species. We are quite worried about some species getting affection by habitat destruction. We need registered, traced individuals of all the current species for study and conservation purposes.
Jeffrey McCrary, FUNDECI/GAIA  www.lagunadeapoyo.blogspot.com

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8 years 5 months ago #29569 by Nuchal Man
Both the European margaritifer and the fish from the thread I posted are quite different than Astatheros bussingi, which is also a nice fish, although I've never seen it in the hobby. Astatheros bussingi is located along the Caribbean coast of southern Costa Rica in to Northern Panama. It is essentially the same fish as an Astatheros alfari, but it has a peppering of tiny brown spots on the body. Unfortunately, I've never seen this fish in large numbers in Costa Rica until last year. I'd love to get some back as they look very pretty with their pattern and blue striation along the cheek.

I have a confession. I'm a cichlaholic.

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8 years 5 months ago #29565 by Red Tiger
To me that looks like an Astatheros Bussingi but I am not as good with lake locations as everyone else. I don't know if Scott received it or not, but I tried to email him a slideshow of Conkels that had Margaritifer in it and it didn't look like that.

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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #29561 by Nuchal Man
I think there are a few factors. First off, Nicaraguan crater lakes pose challenges as far as capturing and properly ID'ing specimens for the aquarium trade. That I'm aware of, there is only one guy really exporting the Amphilophus out of Nicaragua. As far as the Astatheros, I've found them to be a pain in the *** to bring back from the wild and then acclimate to aquarium care. They seem to be sensitive. Some of them aren't particularly pretty, such as macracanthum or some of the Astatheros alfari types from Costa Rica, so there just isn't much demand for them.

As far as margaritifer, the fish being traded through Europe as Astatheros margaritifer most likely is a Astatheros robertsoni type fish. I guess "Astatheros margaritifer" was once collected and bred by Don Conkel who collected them out of Lago Peten, Guatemala. Some of the fish he caught were compared to the type specimens of the species by Dr. Robert Rush Miller and he believed that the fish collected corresponded to Astatheros margaritifer. Many people have stated they believe that the fish is a hybrid created by Conkel. Personally, I don't as a similar fish was caught by a man who lives on Lake Peten about a year ago. It is possible that it is a natural hybrid from the lake.

Check out this link: http://www.cichlidae.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8602&hilit=margaritifer

I have a confession. I'm a cichlaholic.
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8 years 5 months ago #29556 by Red Tiger
I personally don't understand why alot of the amphilophus or astatheros haven't been available in the hobby either. The only macracanthus I have ever seen in the hobby were mo's. Never seen margaritifer either. Well pretty much if I don't own it, its not readily available lol. I was actually getting stressed out trying to find everything I didn't have and had to take a breath and tell myself they are just fish. But it still bothers me.

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8 years 5 months ago #29549 by baldtaxguy
Replied by baldtaxguy on topic Amphilophus species - Lake Apoyo

I was reviewing Willem Heinjs' DVD once again on the Nicaraguan cichlid species and the part showing the three Lake Apoyo Amphilophus species.  It had me wondering why A. astorquii is not yet within the hobby. If I have it right, it was descrbed in the narration with the common name "squid", and looked to be very prevalent within the lake, nests described as occuring every meter.  Of course since then two more species have been described - A. supercilius and A. globosus so maybe the "squid" species is another described species, but again why not in the hobby? 


Heinjs confirmed that the "squid" species is A. astorquii, but did not let on as to why not in the hobby, at least here in the U.S.  However, it appears he may not be keeping cichlids anymore.

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8 years 6 months ago #29149 by Nuchal Man
Although I've never been to Nicaragua, I've talked to a few other researchers on how they do it. It's a huge problem differentiating between these species in the field and the number one way that is used to differentiate between them is habitat preference. I guess that's really what is keeping these species distinct from each other is they are isolated from each other by their habitat preferences.

I have a confession. I'm a cichlaholic.

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