Archive for October, 2010

This week’s word is synonym

Pronounced – SIN-oh-nim

Meaning – a different name for the same species

Origin – from the greek words syn (with) and onoma (name)

A Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus) owned by...

Bronze corydoras

Example usageCorydoras macrosteus is a synonym of Corydoras aeneus, the bronze corydoras.

Trivia – the first scientific name published is known as the senior synonym. Names published after this are known as junior synonyms. The senior synonym should always be used when referring to a species.


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This week’s meeting was a trip to Dundee‘s newest tropical fish store – Discovery Aquatics.

Discovery Aquatics is in Dundonald Street not far from the football stadia. There is no car park but the streets in the area aren’t too busy and it’s fairly easy to park on the street near to the shop. The shop itself is spacious with a very high roof and there should be plenty room for expansion should the business prove to be successful. The owner, Kris Rennie has many years experience of fish-keeping both as an enthusiast and retailing. The shop is a member of OATA.

There is a good selection of coldwater, freshwater tropical and marine fish for sale as well as invertebrates, reptiles, plants, books and dry goods. There were some nice fish that are not normally offered for sale such as splashing tetras (Copella arnoldi), two-striped killifish (Aphyosemion bivittatum) and least rasboras (Boraras urophthalmoides). There was also a tank full of some of the nicest cardinal tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) I’ve seen in many years and some unusually dark coloured bronze corydoras (Corydoras aeneus).

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There is a rest area, so Wilma managed to get her Sudoku done and Kris generously supplied us with tea and biscuits.

Most of the fish were in good condition although there were some dead ones and a couple of the tanks needed the glass cleaned. To be fair to the owner however, we did arrive at the end of a busy day.

Everyone enjoyed the evening out and left with some new fish. Mines have already spawned! Thanks Kris and see you again soon.


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Male Tanganyikan lampeye

Aplocheilichthys pumilus is a small African killifish and a member of the group of fishes known as ‘lampeyes’. Described by George Albert Boulanger in 1906 it’s known as the Tanganyikan lampeye. This species is found under several scientific names including Lacustricola pumilus and Micropanchax pumilus. The specific name ‘pumilus’ means small.


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Twenty fish-keepers for tonight’s meeting and we welcomed Alan McPhee to the club


The President, Secretary and Open Show Manager gave their reports on last Sunday’s Open Show and auction.


It was a table show so we just had a chat whilst the judges went about their duties. The results can be viewed here and the latest standings can be seen on the Table Show page.


Lots of items in the auction tonight.

Chocolate whiptail catfish – £3
Bag of galaxy rasboras – £5
Bag of 4 flag-tail panda corys – £7
Bags of floating plants (Amazon frogbit) – £1 each
Loads of other nice fish but I didn’t take a note of them – sorry!

Next Meeting

Thursday 21st October – Trip to Discovery Aquatics in Dundee.

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Studies addressing the adaptive significance of female ornamentation have gained ground recently. However, the expression of female ornaments in relation to body size, known as trait allometry, remains unexplored. Here, we investigated the allometry of a conspicuous female ornament in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a biparental
cichlid that shows mutual mate choice and ornamentation. Females feature an eye-catching pelvic fin greatly differing from that of males.

This is a nice paper that offers a neat explanation for the large pelvic fins found in female kribs. Anyone who has kept and bred P. taeniatus will agree entirely with the arguments made in this paper. The female uses her pelvic fins to exaggerate the colour and size of her belly to the male. Males are attracted to gravid females – the more gravid the higher the attraction. It follows that females with bigger, more colourful pelvic fins will be more likely to attract males and thus be more likely to pass on the genes for bigger more colourful pelvic fins. Thus over the generations the female pelvic fins will tend to get larger and more colourful.


Pelvicachromis taeniatus female

Female showing the exaggerated pelvic fins.


Of course if the pelvic fins are too large they will interfere with the females ability to swim, catch food and avoid predators. A balance will therefore occur between the forces of sexual selection – bigger and more colourful and natural selection – correct size for efficient swimming.

Read the whole paper here.

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A northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) caugh...

A piscivorous snake - Image via Wikipedia

This week’s word is piscivore.

Pronounced – PIH-sih-voar (rhymes with kiss her more)

Meaning – a fish-eater.

Origin – from the latin words piscis (fish) and vorare (devour).

Similar words – carnivore (meat-eater), herbivore (plant eater), omnivore (everything eater).

Example usage – A piscivore such as the pike cichlid preys on small fish.

Trivia – piscivore is also used to indicate a person who is fond of fish.

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