(Cherating-Form, Foto: M. Hallmann)

Schaller 1985

First descrip­tion: Parosphromenus nagyi spec.nov., ein neuer Pracht­gu­rami aus Malaysia (vor­läu­fige Mit­teilung). Die Aquar­ien– und Terrarien-​Zeitschrift 38; 301303.

Char­ac­ter­is­tics: Over­all length max. 4.0 cm. Fin for­mula: Dor­sal: XI-​XIII, 57, total 1619, Anal: XI-​XIII, 811, total 2023. ♂ nup­tial col­oration resem­bles only P.ornaticauda or P.parvulus; the pat­tern is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from other species: a hor­i­zon­tal two-​part coloura­tion, below black­ish, top dark to golden brown. Also the very short look­ing cau­dal, in which the fin rays exceed the fin area by about 1mm of and where the turquoise edge appears fur­ther for­ward, is char­ac­ter­is­tic of this species.

This fea­ture is there­fore less clear for the ♀. Unusu­ally short fil­a­ments of the ven­tral fins, which show a dark spot are also very typ­i­cal for both sexes. — Two habi­tat types are known in which the males are eas­ily dis­tin­guish­able by the eye-​catching band in the tail: in the form of terra typ­ica (Form “Kuan­tan”) this is white, and thus shows a dif­fer­ent colour as the blue rib­bons in dor­sal and anal. In the north­ern form “Cher­at­ing” the band is blue as well. In addi­tion the above-​described exten­sion of the tail fin rays is less clear in this form, and there­fore the cau­dal appears to be longer. “Kuan­tan” males also carry a sig­nif­i­cant dark spot in the rear part of the dor­sal fin.

Sim­i­lar species: when the males show courtship colours, they can­not be con­fused with other species. In nor­mal colours males are still dis­tin­guish­able by their mor­pho­logic dif­fer­ences. The risk of con­fu­sion is higher for the females, because mor­pho­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences are less sig­nif­i­cant, but on close obser­va­tion they are still eas­ily identifiable.

Occurence/​Distribution: Ranges of the east coast of West­ern Malaysia. The species has a rel­a­tively large area of dis­tri­b­u­tion; it is found from Pekan in the south going north via Kuan­tan and Cher­at­ing up to the area north of Cukai.

Threat: High. Although the species has a large dis­tri­b­u­tion area, most of the nat­ural habi­tats have been mas­sively altered by human activ­i­ties. Nowa­days the fish is found mainly in remain­ing resid­ual habi­tats and road­side canals that are still fed by rem­nants of for­mer black water swamps.

Discovery/​First import: to Europe by Peter Nagy of Felsö Gör (Salzburg/​Austria) in 1979; Schaller named the species after its dis­cov­erer (Kuantan-​form). Later it has been imported again at sev­eral occa­sions, e.g. to Switzer­land in 1985 by Krum­me­n­acher. The Cherating-​form was imported to Europe for the first time in 2000 by M. Hallmann.

Trade: rarely in trade today; only the Kuantan-​form. The aquar­ium stock depends almost com­pletely on pri­vately imported fish.

Care /​Breed­ing: Sim­i­lar to other licorice gouramis.

Behav­iour /​Par­tic­u­lar­i­ties: Head-​down-​courtship. Small foam nest. Because of its spec­tac­u­lar nup­tial plumage this is a very sought-​after, attrac­tive species.

A fan­tas­tic photo serie of a Parospho­me­nus nagyi pair spawn­ing cap­tured by David Jones.


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