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.

General view of habitat, a black water swampBlack water swamp full of dead leavesBlack water swamp with grass Ornaticauda in habitat direct after capture, with original colorAfter capture in hotelAfter capture in hotelSyntopic species P. anjunganensisSyntopic species B. brownorumSyntopic species B. midasSyntopic species Sphaerichthys osphromenoidesSyntopic-species-3.jpgSyntopic species Trigonopoma gracile, the body color becomes pink due the black water habitatSyntopic species Trigonopoma pauciperforatum, very good colorSyntopic species Macrobrachium sp.Neutral mood Agressive displayCourtingCourtingMating Guarding eggs

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