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Couple of Pictures

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#1 Guest_jetajockey_*

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:02 PM

Took a couple of pictures, and want to test my skill at IDing.

The first two are of what I assume is E.evergladei female. There are 2 of them and they are quite large, nearly the size of some e.zonatum adults I have. I assume it is evergladei because of the bland coloration, 'long' body, and slight banding towards the rear. Anyone agree?
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Next is a male e.evergladei in submissive coloration, or could be stress from being in a holding tank. He has a slight coloration to his dorsal fin but it's not dark, and along the middle of the body from front to back is a speckling of gold and blue depending on the angle viewed.
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And finally, what I surmise to be e.gilberti females.
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How'd I do?

#2 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:14 PM

Uuuuum. No, I don't think those are gilberti females. I'm not a pygmy sunfish expert, though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

The first picture of an 'Elassoma gilberti' female looks more like the picture of a female Elassoma zonatum here: http://forum.nanfa.o...nfish-for-sale/
The very last picture you posted, the star marking around her face is just way more dark than anything I've seen on one of my gilberti girls.
My Elassoma gilberti females have less contrast between their spots and background than the fish you're photographing. And my females don't have any brown lines close to their eyes. Here are some pictures of Elassoma gilberti, post #787: http://forum.nanfa.o...i/page__st__780

There are a few stragglers in the back of some photos that I can't really see. If you take pictures of each female one by one I could go through and say a more definite opinion.

Edited by EricaWieser, 16 March 2012 - 07:25 PM.

#3 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:41 PM

I dont think any of those are E. zonatum...

But I am not going to try to differentiate between gilberti, okefenokee and evergladei when they are stressed in a tank and I am unfamiliar with the collecting area... I will say that I think many of those darker fish are males...
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#4 Guest_jetajockey_*

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

With the 'e.gilberti' females on the bottom pics, they were collected in the same area (and sometimes the same swoop) as E.gilberti males. There were several more males in the area than females, but both were fairly abundant, and there were no other obvious evergladei ever collected in this area that I recall. I do recall collecting e.zonatum further up stream in this area and in the next stream over.

I have also noticed that upon adding one of the females (picked a plump one with the amber ovaries to be sure) to an established tank with a male in it that within short order of finding her he would darken out and start doing his wiggle waggle. Could've been a one-off, though, so i'll try again a few times and record the findings.

At the time of these pics I had already taken out the obvious males (i.e. black/blue finnage). I've still got them in the picture so I'll take a look again tomorrow and see if they have changed at all. If not then I'll just put them back into the tanks and update.

Is it possible that it's just a locality variant? What about a natural hybrid?

A few key trait differences to look for would help. I've yet to see scales on the head of any of these fish, including the known e.evergladei, not sure how you'd go about that without damaging the fish. Based on the area the only possibilities are e.zonatum, e.evergladei, and e.gilberti.

Edited by jetajockey, 16 March 2012 - 10:22 PM.

#5 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:55 PM

Is it possible that it's just a locality variant?

Very very likely. To me the the one thing that makes your females look the least gilberti-ish is the brown around their eyes. None of my females or males have ever had a brown line within that small space of skin around their eyes. Link: http://gallery.nanfa...rs/EricaWieser/ specifically http://gallery.nanfa...emale1.jpg.html and http://gallery.nanfa...male11.jpg.html and http://gallery.nanfa...ze_002.jpg.html and ... hmm. This female kind of has a little bit of brown: http://gallery.nanfa...lberti.jpg.html and http://gallery.nanfa...arison.jpg.html

I wonder how much of my population's physical characteristics are indicative of the species and how much of the phenotypic diversity of the species has been lost due to bottlenecking? With over a decade of captive breeding, my fish have a pretty strong chance of founder effect. Maybe those brown marks are a normal thing for a certain percentage of Elassoma gilberti in the wild but because the fish that initially founded my population didn't have them, my captive population doesn't. That wouldn't be all that strange. *nods* I guess the only thing I can do is take pictures of my fish and document what happens to them. *shrugs* There's no way to avoid bottlenecking without going back to the swamp and collecting new fish. And the Florida 'Back to the Swamp' trip is going to the E. okefenokee side of Florida, so I can't get more gilberti there ;)

#6 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:38 PM

I just saw your auction on aquabid. The fish you have there are definitely Elassoma gilberti.
I'm kind of excited for pygmy sunfish. They're becoming more and more popular as aquarium fish. Hopefully one day they'll be even more mainstream :D
I'll consider them officially popular when I see some on the AGA aquascaping contest's page. XD

#7 Guest_jetajockey_*

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:27 AM

Unfortunately we are moving to Ohio a bit later this year, so I've been narrowing down most of my collections and different projects. With this species in particular I've narrowed it down to a handful of good looking adults and the rest are going to go. I've already gotten rid of most of my lepomis, guppy strains, angelfish, discus, cherry shrimp, corys, and JD's.

By the time we move I'm going to have my garage full of tanks cut back down to 2 racks that can easily go into the corner of wherever we move to, so I still have a bit of work to do.

I'm really going to miss the fishing trips here, but then again I'm sure I'll get over it with a few darter trips up there.

It seems like with the aquascape setups there are usually schools of small fish, so having a solitary nano fish might be rare in and of itself. But who knows, maybe someone will do a nano tank.

Edited by jetajockey, 17 March 2012 - 01:28 AM.

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