Friday, 17 April 2009

THE UNIDENTIFIED FISHES OF YOUTUBE PART ONE

Youtube is a powerful tool. I spent some time this morning looking around its archive to try and find something interesting to witter about for a bit. So here we are, a look at the undescribed species of Youtube.

We had best start with some fish. First we have this very attractive Loricariidae, or, a plec. These are common inhabitants of aquariums, but they are either one of the huge species which are sold as “only growing to “4”” and the size of the tank”, or one of the stunning “L-numbers” which are almost always wild caught, very pretty and astoundingly expensive. £30 is about what you need for one of the more common species, but individuals selling for multiples of hundreds are fairly commonplace. This is an adult male, so at about 7cm he is one of the smaller species. The thickened first ray on his pectoral fins show him to be a sexually mature male, ready to defend his site from all comers.

It is a Venezuelan species, which in itself is nothing unusual, but if in the video you look closely 26 seconds through, you should notice fronds on the front if he fish’s sucking mouth. These are modified sensory barbels which help in the search for food. Not many Loricariidae have these, so this species is unusual in having them. It is thought to be from the genus Leporacanthicus, but appears to be the smallest species in the group: the others all get over 20cm in length. Its dorsal fin appears to be much more triangular than all the other species in the genus, but hey, I am not a taxonomist.

Yet.





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