P. pahuensis male Copyright Stefanie Rick

Kot­te­lat & Nd 2005

First descrip­tion: Diag­noses of six new species of Parosphromenus (Teleostei: Osphrone­mi­dae) from Malay Penin­sula and Bor­neo, with notes on other species. The Raf­fles Bul­letin of Zool­ogy 2005 Sup­ple­ment No. 13: 101113.

Char­ac­ter­is­tics: total length max. 4.0 cm. Fin for­mula: Dor­sal: XII-​XIV, 77, total 1920, anal fin: XIII-​XIV, 69, total 2022. Both part­ners have spot­ted unpaired fins and 03 (often 2) con­sec­u­tive black spots on the body sides; this resem­bles P. linkei. Besides these, only some vari­ants of P. palu­di­cola show these spots. How­ever, the cau­dal fin of the male has no fil­a­ment like linkei, but it is rounded as it is in females. The dis­tinc­tion between sexes can thus be dif­fi­cult, espe­cially because the col­oration pat­tern of the unpaired fins is sim­i­lar in both sexes: in full exten­sion silver-​white speck­les on brown-​red to bright red back­ground with­out the flu­o­res­cent bands, which are typ­i­cal for licorice gouramis.

Only nar­row whitish lines appear on the edges of the fins. The fin col­oration of the males is more dis­tinct and colour­ful com­pared to the females and the dor­sal fin is more pointed. These fea­tures are recog­nis­able already in sub-​adult fishes.

Sim­i­lar species: due to the par­tic­u­lar­i­ties in struc­ture and col­oration in both sexes the risk of con­fu­sion is low. Couldn’t be con­fused with red-​finned linkei, because of the speck­led unpaired fins and lat­eral spots. In con­trast to this species, P pahuen­sis always shows a round cau­dal fin with­out a fil­a­ment and never a zone of red dots, as it can be seen in some P. linkei.

Occur­rence /​Dis­tri­b­u­tion: P. pahuen­sis inhab­its the streams in the catch­ment area of the Mahakam River in the east­ern low­lands of Bor­neo (Kali­man­tan Timur). This area is mostly less devel­oped then other parts of the island. The type local­ity is sit­u­ated down­stream beyond the vil­lage of Muara­pahu – this name was given to the species. The first known habi­tat of occur­rence near Melak had a pH around 5.0, a low resid­ual hard­ness of 3 degrees and a tem­per­a­ture of about 27°C. Another area of occur­rence had sim­i­lar val­ues. Although the genetic proof is still pend­ing, it can be assumed that these local forms are vari­ants of the same species: P. pahuen­sis.

Threat: Kali­man­tan Timur still fea­tures rem­nants of the nat­ural veg­e­ta­tion; more then the adja­cent areas in the west, K. Ten­gah and K. Barat. How­ever this area is increas­ingly threat­ened by melio­ra­tion and agri­cul­tural use. There­fore this species is endan­gered as well despite its east­ern distribution.

Discovery/​First import: given its remote dis­tri­b­u­tion, pahuen­sis was dis­cov­ered rel­a­tively late: in 1996 Dick­mann, Grams and Knorr dis­cov­ered the fish near Melak. They were also called spec. Jan­tur Ger­meruh or, in the Ger­man first descrip­tion, “Hon­ey­monn Licorice Gouramis”. The fish was found at a sec­ond local­ity, Jen­gan Danum, too. The first suc­cess­ful breeder was G. Kopic (D), but the descen­dants of these first known fishes dis­ap­peared soon after­wards. Only in 2007 did the Japan­ese “Team Bor­neo” (H. Kishi et al.) redis­cover the fish dur­ing an expe­di­tion in Kali­man­tan Timur.

Trade: until recent years, the species appar­ently never appeared in trade, but it was dis­trib­uted in small num­bers pri­vately in Japan and Europe. In 2009, when H. Linke received some fish from H. Kishi from Japan, bred them and passed them on to P. Finke and oth­ers. Today the species is occa­sion­ally offered by some ex– or importers, though this is extremely rare (e.g. in 2011 in D and GB).

Care /​Breed­ing: like other licorice gouramis, although obvi­ously it is not as tol­er­ant and rel­a­tively unde­mand­ing as its “sister”-species linkei. Thus it is not a beginner’s fish for newbie’s in the licorice gourami hobby. Atten­tion to the typ­i­cal val­ues for the water has to be paid. Some­times it is very dif­fi­cult to breed them, in other cases breed­ing goes faster than expected. Up to now, there is only lit­tle expe­ri­ence with the species.

Behav­iour /​Par­tic­u­lar­i­ties: Head-​down or hor­i­zon­tally courtship. Stan­dard caves of all kinds are accepted.




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