P. bintan (Foto: H. Linke)

Kot­te­lat & Ng 1998

First descrip­tion: Parosphromenus bin­tan, a new osphrone­mid fish from Bin­tan and Bangka islands, Indone­sia, with redescrip­tion of P. deiss­neri. Ichthy­olog­i­cal Explo­ration of Fresh­wa­ters, 8: 263272.

Char­ac­ter­is­tics: Over­all length max. 3.5 cm. Dor­sal struc­ture: XI-​XIII, 57, total 1720, Anal: XI-​XIII, 810, total 1922. ♂ in breed­ing colours, with thin white-​lined unpaired fins, in which both sides show a blue band, framed by broad dark zones, cen­tral zone of the cau­dal, a dirty red-​black. Pelvic fins blue with rel­a­tively short white-​blue fil­a­ments. ♀ dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is hardly pos­si­ble from other species with a round tail based on color char­ac­ter­is­tics — con­sid­er­a­tion of fin for­mula is required. Courtship col­or­ing of ♀: pale-​beige color. Because many sim­i­lar, but some­times differently-​colored forms have been dis­cov­ered since the first descrip­tion and fur­ther round-​tailed forms have been described in 2005 by the same authors, the species delim­i­ta­tion has once again become ques­tion­able (“bin­tan com­plex”) if not, accord­ing to Kot­te­lat & Ng, the iso­lated island-​like occur­rence is regarded as a suf­fi­cient evi­dence for their own species sta­tus. Espe­cially in this bin­tan com­plex, genetic stud­ies are needed.

Sim­i­lar species: Kot­te­lat and Ng rede­fined the species P. deiss­neri in the same pub­li­ca­tion, so P. bin­tan can not be con­fused any­more due to the sig­nif­i­cant struc­tural dif­fer­ences and color dif­fer­ences of both types. In males, the risk of con­fu­sion with other licorice gouramis is low, because of the color dif­fer­ences in the phe­no­typic dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of described round-​tail–Parosphromenus. But for many, still unde­scribed, forms from other regions (eg, “spec.” blue line “, spec. Sen­tang, both Suma­tra) the risk is quite high. In females it is gen­er­ally very high. It can be assumed that there is already con­fu­sion, and some acci­den­tal hybridiza­tion might have already occurred. P.deissneri was char­ac­terised as the point-​tailed sp based on their find­ing the sp. in the same loca­tion as the orig­i­nal descrip­tion but of course the orig­i­nal (Bleeker) descrip­tion was based on a female !!

Occur­rence /​Dis­tri­b­u­tion: accord­ing to the first descrip­tion, they are endemic to the Malaysian islands of Bin­tan and Bangka, but in fact, mainly due to the recent dis­cov­er­ies in Suma­tra and Bor­neo, the dis­tri­b­u­tion is unclear again.

Threat: High. If the species is endemic on the island, it is very high. If they are (partly) iden­ti­cal with other forms in other places, it is less so but still high in gen­eral. Each of the indi­vid­ual forms is highly endangered.

Dis­cov­ery /​First import: Dif­fi­cult to deter­mine. Has prob­a­bly been imported unno­ticed long before the first description.

Trade: In the trade, it is almost impos­si­ble to dis­en­tan­gle the name and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion con­fu­sion. The wild-​caught fish, some­times offered under the false name “P. deiss­neri” are imported only rarely from the islands of Bangka and Bin­tan. The point of view that it is really P. bin­tan, can­not be cor­rect in many cases. This goes mainly back to the still wide­spread sim­pli­fi­ca­tion “the fish for­merly known as deiss­neri is now called bin­tan”. There may also be other con­fu­sions with other round-​finned forms of licorice gouramis from Malaysia or Indone­sia. The dis­cov­ery of new forms, espe­cially from Suma­tra, increases the name con­fu­sion in the trade even more.

Care /​Breed­ing: Stan­dard con­di­tions for licorice gourami-​keeping and breed­ing. The ‘Team Bor­neo’ has mea­sured pH val­ues of 4.8, GH lev­els of 0, KH val­ues of 1 and a tem­per­a­ture of 25.2 degrees Cel­sius, with slightly brown water for loca­tions in Pulau Bin­tan and Pulau Bangka.

Behav­iour /​Par­tic­u­lar­i­ties: No spe­cial fea­tures. Head-​down-​courtship. Mod­er­ately dis­tinct foam nest, some­times only rudi­men­tary. Accom­pa­ny­ing fish such as Betta species (eg B. bur­di­gala, B.chlorpharynx or B. schal­leri) occur in the native habi­tat, in which B. Bur­di­gala would occur on the for­est floor, — and P. Bin­tan in the streams around the for­est. This would also mean that it would not be appro­pri­ate to keep these in the same aquarium.





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