tweed­iei

Klassisches tweediei-Männchen des Pontian-Typs. Foto: G. Kopic

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: Round-​tailed licorice gourami of the bintan-​harvey type. Total length max. 4.0 cm. Fin for­mula: Dor­sal: X-​XII, 67, total 1719, anal fin: X-​XII, 1013, total 2123. Among all red-​finned licorice gouramis this is the one with the largest frac­tion of red. The typ­i­cal tweed­iei male shows strong red unpaired fins, which are bor­dered by broad black bands and white edges. The ven­tral fins are blue with long black filaments.

The body stripes are black, so are head and throat. The red areas in the dor­sal and anal fin can be replaced by a blue band, espe­cially in the front part. The dor­sal fin is usu­ally slightly pointed, but not extremely long, the cau­dal fin is rounded. The females show a less pointed dor­sal fin and gen­er­ally trans­par­ent, only slightly brown­ish coloured unpaired fins; only in aggres­sive mood do their coloura­tion pat­terns resem­ble those of the males.

P. Beyer has dis­cov­ered dur­ing repeated vis­its of today´s relict habi­tats since 2006 that the species has a sig­nif­i­cant colour vari­abil­ity, which goes far beyond the mod­er­ate vari­abil­ity, named in the first descrip­tion. In some years or sea­sons there were more “red”, in oth­ers more “blue” (=fish with a high amount of blue coloura­tion). Beyer assumes that this effect is based on chang­ing food composition.

The species has been known much longer than its rel­a­tively late first descrip­tion sug­gests. Accord­ing to M. Kot­te­lat this species was usu­ally meant when older aquar­is­tic lit­er­a­ture men­tioned P. “deiss­neri”, found in West-​Malaysia. Also the fish that W. Foer­sch received in the begin­ning of the sev­en­ties through an import com­pany in Munich and later through Diet­rich Schaller from Johore, were most likely tweed­iei. These forms, with which he car­ried out his exper­i­ments in the belief they were “deiss­neri”, had rel­a­tively large amounts of blue coloura­tion in their fins. Schaller asked the for­mer keeper of the Raf­fles Museum Sin­ga­pore, Eric Alfred, about the local­ity of the then lit­tle known “deiss­neri” and was told they were com­ing from “Ayer Hitam”. Here, he indeed found the fish, but this terra typ­ica of tweed­iei is destroyed today.

Sim­i­lar species: risk of con­fu­sion is low for the males, but prin­cip­i­aly not to be excluded for other red-​finned licorice gouramis. This is due to the fact that dif­fer­ent large blue areas may be present in the fins of tweed­iei. A good fea­ture for dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of the males is the pres­ence of white bands occur­ing in cau­dal and dor­sal fin. The form spec. Langgam from Suma­tra is very sim­i­lar, but its fin edges are often not pure white and the cau­dal fin is pointed in the end. In the females the risk of con­fu­sion with other round-​tailed species is high, but on the other hand, dom­i­nant females can also show a less dis­tinct male-​like colouration.

Occur­rence /​Dis­tri­b­u­tion: West-​Malaysia, Johore dis­trict; in ear­lier times also fur­ther north in the dis­trict Malakka. These pop­u­la­tions do not exist any­more, due to habi­tat destruc­tion. Tweedie listed a num­ber of areas of occur­rence in West-​Malaysia in 1952 for “deiss­neri”. Many of these places were appar­ently related to the species, named after him, but most of them are destroyed today, such as the main loca­tion Ayer Hitam. In the nineties, mainly red-​finned fish have been imported from the area around Pon­tian, at this time the then unde­scribed species was named spec. Pon­tian. The fact that in far away Suma­tra a very sim­i­lar form (spec. Langgam) has been found, is most likely going back to con­ver­gent devel­op­ment. Both forms should not be species-​identical.

Threat: very high, because none of the orig­i­nally exist­ing habi­tats remained untouched by human influ­ences. The species can be found (only?) in strongly affected struc­tures (e.g. road­side chan­nels), which are still fed by relict black­wa­ter springs. If there is a cor­re­la­tion between the insta­bil­ity of these water bod­ies and the strik­ing vari­abil­ity of the coloura­tion of the fish is unclear. Beyer sug­gested the influ­ence of chang­ing food. The expe­di­tion Bussler/​Hinz in April 2011 could not find this species (as the only kind of sought species in West-​Malaysia) in places, which had been vis­ited last by Beyer .

Discovery/​First import:The fish, intro­duced by Herre to the United States in 1937 as “deiss­neri”, belonged most likely to this species, as well as the fish imported to Ger­many by Schaller in 1973. Kub­ota, Kopic and oth­ers have spread this species in the mid-​nineties.

Trade: This attrac­tive species in par­tic­u­lar has been traded very spo­rad­i­cally (as “deiss­neri”) since the sev­en­ties, when the main habi­tats were still intact, mainly as a by-​catch. Today this is rarely the case, and it has been seen no longer in recent years. This is clearly due to the sig­nif­i­cant decline of the stock in the still pop­u­lated relict habitats.

Care /​Breed­ing: not dif­fer­ent from other licorice gouramis. Since the clas­sic descrip­tion of Foer­sch from 1974 (“Notes on care and breed­ing of Parosphromenus deiss­neri”), is related to this species and the basic knowl­edge about Parosphromenus care and breed­ing goes back to this pub­li­ca­tion, P.tweediei is the species for which the most thor­oughly researched expe­ri­ence is avail­able. At the partly destroyed fish­ing grounds in Pon­tian, val­ues of pH 4.0 were mea­sured. The fish have been caught in depths of 1.0 to 1.5 meter in dense under­wa­ter veg­e­ta­tion (Kot­te­lat & Ng 2005:107). Strong ani­mals can pro­duce large clutches (50 to 80 eggs).

Behav­iour /​Par­tic­u­lar­i­ties: Head-​down or hor­i­zon­tally courtship. Dom­i­nant females can take on a male-​like coloura­tion in the absence of males, espe­cially in small groups. The species is one of the most attrac­tive and sought after in the aquar­ium, how­ever, it requires a strict obser­vance of the prin­ci­ples of Licorice gouramii aquatics.

PF

Parosphromenus tweed­iei (loca­tion Kampung Sri Bun­ian) — Pic­tures of male and female, their newly hatched lar­vae and the grown up fry — by Muhamad Syafiq Zulkifle

Parosphromenus tweediei male Parosphromenus tweediei female Newly hatched larvae from wild caught Parosphromenus tweediei. Copyright Muhamad Syafiq ZulkifleParosphromenus tweediei grown up fry from larvaes picture 3Parosphromenus tweediei grown up fry from larvaes picture 3

Parosphromenus tweed­iei (Ruine­mans 2013)

Parosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene SchoubyeParosphromenus tweediei (Ruinemans 2013) Copyright Helene Schoubye

Parosphromenus tweed­iei ‘Sri Burinan’

Parosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Male - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Male - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia  - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Male - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Female - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Female - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Female - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia Female - dec. 2014 copyright David JonesParosphromenus tweediei 'Sri Bunian' / collection place near Pontian, Johore, Malaysia  - dec. 2014 copyright David Jones

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