rub­ri­mon­tis

Kot­te­lat & Ng 2005

First descrip­tion: Diag­noses of six new species of Parosphromenus (Teleostei: Osphrone­mi­dae) from Malay Penin­sula and Bor­neo, with notes on other species. The Raf­fles Bul­letin of Zool­ogy 2005 Sup­ple­ment No. 13: 101113.

Char­ac­ter­is­tics:licorice gourami from the bintan-​harvey fam­ily. total length max. 3.5 cm. Fin for­mula: Dor­sal: XI-​XII, 57, total 1619, anal fin: XIII-​XIV, 68, total 1921. Rounded cau­dal fin. The male always has a pointed dor­sal fin, partly very long, almost like a pen­nant. It always shows a fine white egde of the coloured unpaired fins, a fea­ture that is not to be found in the females. The male always shows, besides the strik­ing turquoise bands, species-​typical red mark­ings in the dor­sal fin (body-​sided band) and cau­dal fin (often extended red cen­tral area), band-​like also in the rear area of the anal fin, extended for­ward just before the pelvic fins in some indi­vid­u­als. This species has a cer­tain vari­abil­ity, not only spe­cific to the local­ity, but also to the strain or even the clutch. The ven­tral fins are blue to black-​green; the fil­a­ments are long and black.

Sim­i­lar species: super­fi­cially regarded, the males can be con­fused with other species, which have red com­po­nents in the unpaired fins. The risk of con­fu­sion in females is gen­er­ally high. Males can eas­ily be con­fused with P. Alfredi. The only clear dif­fer­ence is in the ven­tral fins, which are light blue to white for alfredi, while rub­ri­mon­tis males have blue, black-​green or black. These very dark ven­tral fil­a­ments are also an impor­tant fea­ture for the dif­fer­en­ci­a­tion with P. opal­lius.

Occur­rence /​Dis­tri­b­u­tion: West-​Malaysia, province Perak. The terra typ­ica near Bukit Merah (mean­ing “red moun­tain” just like the species name), orig­i­nally a very impres­sive area, and rich in species, is almost com­pletely destroyed today.. How­ever the species still exists in remain­ing swamp areas in the sur­round­ing (as of 2011).

Threat: very high, the terra typ­ica has already been destroyed by drain­ing and con­ver­sion into agri­cul­tural land (oil palm) dur­ing the time of the first descrip­tion. The other small scale habi­tats in the sur­round­ing, where the species still occurs, are highly endan­gered by sim­i­lar devel­op­ments. P. Rub­ri­mon­tis is one of the most beau­ti­ful and most endan­gered licorice gouramis.

Discovery/​First import: date of dis­cov­ery unclear, because at first – like in other cases – in the belief only one wide­spread parosphromenus “deiss­neri” exists, the species was con­fused with this one. R. Ottinger brought the species to Europe from Bukit Merah in begin­ning of 1984. Since then sev­eral pri­vate imports took place, mainly by enthu­si­asts (e.g. Z. Zakaria, H. Linke), in the end only from relict local­i­ties in the fur­ther sur­round­ing of Bukit Merah.

Trade: before the destruc­tion of the orig­i­nal local­ity, the species appeared a few times in the inter­na­tional trade under false names (trade names or “deiss­neri”). Since then only few com­mer­cial imports of rubrimontis-​forms took place. These strains, partly with vari­able coloura­tion, have been kept and bred seper­ately as a precaution.

Care /​Breed­ing: like other licorice gouramis. Linke found low pH val­ues (between 3.5 and 4.5) and an extremely low con­duc­tiv­ity (only up to 20 micro Siemens/​cm) in the orig­i­nal habi­tat, a typ­i­cal black water creek, which was very dark coloured by humic sub­stances. These val­ues should be pur­sued in the tank too. Very impor­tant is, besides a gen­er­ally low salt con­tent), the absence of germs. P. rub­ri­mon­tis belongs to the more demand­ing species, regard­ing water qual­ity and hygiene, if they should be kept and bred suc­cess­fully over a longer time. Under these con­di­tions, this is well pos­si­ble. Small to medium sized clutches (aver­age 2040 eggs).

Behav­iour /​Par­tic­u­lar­i­ties:Head-​down courtship. Males in hor­i­zon­tal posi­tion show­ing dark coloured lower body part dur­ing aggres­sive con­fronta­tion with other males. Females become very pale, almost yel­low dur­ing courtship.

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