Gallery of P. ornat­i­cauda

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P. ornat­i­cauda

Spe­cial thanks to Joni K, Wendy W. from Pontianak.

Ornat­i­cauda is a very spe­cial species, which is sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent from all other parosphromenus species. Its dis­tri­b­u­tion restricts in a nar­row area around Anjun­gan in Kapuas Basin, Kali­man­tan Barat. Once was this species very easy to obtain via aquatic trad­ing. They were reg­u­larly exported with the syn­topic P. anjun­ga­nen­sis. But recently the habi­tats of ornat­i­cauda were sev­er­ally dam­aged by oil-​palm plan­ta­tion and other human inter­fer­ences. It became rarer and rarer on the mar­ket. In Aug. 2017 I decided to col­lect ornat­i­cauda myself and orga­nized an Expe­di­tion with my Team­mate Ji.

The type local­ity in Pinyuh was long ago destroyed by oil palm plan­ta­tion. My local friend Wendy shared his secret loca­tion of ornat­i­cauda with me. It is a very small swamp with per­fect water con­di­tion. Clean black water with a pH of 4.1, TDS 11. It is a very typ­i­cal habi­tat of this species, all other typ­i­cal syn­topic species were found here. The pop­u­la­tion den­sity of ornat­i­cauda was also very high. The prob­lem was that this small habi­tat was directly threat­ened by an oil palm plan­ta­tion. The boarder of the plan­ta­tion was just 100 meters from the habi­tat. We were wor­ried that the plan­ta­tion will even­tu­ally destroy this small swamp. Another 2 loca­tions were dis­cov­ered in this expe­di­tion, one is a swamp with high pop­u­la­tion but very dif­fi­cult to access, the other was a small river with a very low pop­u­la­tion den­sity of ornat­i­cauda. Thus, the secret loca­tion of Wendy remained as the prior can­di­date for col­lec­tion. In the later expe­di­tion in April 2018 my team­mates Ji and Dai con­firmed that one of the three loca­tions, the small river, was destroyed com­pletely in just six months. The secret swamp remained intact until then.

Sadly, the things changed com­pletely when I vis­ited this loca­tion after another six months in Oct. 2018. The swamp dis­ap­peared com­pletely. The for­est was wiped out and the swamp was dug over due to unknown con­struc­tion project, prob­a­bly an expan­sion of the oil palm plan­ta­tion. No parosphromenus sur­vived. It is sad to see such kind of destruc­tion hap­pened once again. Every six months we will lose some habi­tats of parosphromenus, and such process seems not to be stopped any­way. Although there are still other habi­tats of ornat­i­cauda, and this species is now once again reg­u­larly col­lected and exported by the local hunter, I am not sure how long can this species sur­vive under the shadow of oil palm.

The Gallery of Parosphromenus ornat­i­cauda

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