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Parosphromenus parvulus copyright Helene Schoubye Johansen Parosphromenus sumatranus copyright David Jones Parosphromenus ornaticauda copyright Horst Linke Parosphromenus sp. bintan  copyright Helene Schoubye Johansen
Parosphromenus spe­cial behav­iour. 1
Do all parosphromenus species stand on their head when flash­ing ? – some­one asked me the other day at a presentation.
No – they don’t.
It’s a pecu­liar thing, that most of the paro-​species we know do stand head down when flash­ing, yet we know of 3 species that do the oppo­site. When the males do their lit­tle dance in front of the female they stand head up.
These 3 species are ornat­i­cauda, parvu­lus from Bor­neo and suma­tranus from Sumatra.
Ornat­i­cauda and parvu­lus are nor­mally thought of as paro-​species that dif­fer from the oth­ers paro-​species, in not only this way, — but also in bodyshape, size and gen­eral demands.
Sci­en­tific work by Went­ian Shi, shown in this paper, also sug­gests that parvu­lus is a very old species, and in a dis­tinct evo­lu­tion branch from other species, which might explain the dif­fer­ence. (see https://​mapress​.com/​z​t​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​v​i​e​w​/​z​o​o​t​a​x​a​.​5060​.​1​.​3​/​45781 )
But suma­tranus is dif­fer­ent from that , — it reminds of most other species, — as far as we know — except for this one fea­ture with the head-​up flashing.
Why the evo­lu­tion hap­pened like this we don’t know, we can just accept that this is a curi­ous dif­fer­ence between some of the parosphromenus species.
Below pho­tos of the 3 species + one ‘ordi­nary’ head down flash­ing species for com­par­i­son, P. sp. bintan
Pho­tos 1. Parvu­lus (credit Helene Schoubye Johansen) 2. Suma­tranus (credit David Jones) 3. Ornat­i­cauda (credit Horst Linke) P. sp. bin­tan (credit H.S.Johansen)
Parosphromenus linkei copyright Rafael Eggli Parosphromenus linkei copyright Rafael Eggli Parosphromenus linkei copyright Rafael Eggli Parosphromenus linkei copyright Rafael Eggli Parosphromenus linkei copyright Rafael Eggli
P. linkei Kot­te­lat 1991
Parosphromenus linkei inhab­its mainly the south­ern low­lands of Kali­man­tan Ten­gah, north of Suka­mara and south of Pudukali. Also occours near Pan­gal­abuun. Although wide dis­tri­b­u­tion the species is highly endan­gered, as the area where it could be found has no nat­ural veg­e­ta­tion any longer and is drained for agri­cul­tural purposes.
P. linkei is one of the most attrac­tive parosphromenus species, with its speck­led unpaired fins, long fil­a­ment of both male and females, and it is also one of the less shy and less demand­ing species of all, and often referred to as a good ‘begin­ner’ paro.
The cau­dal fin of the male is larger and has a sig­nif­i­cantly long fil­a­ment (up to nearly 1.5 cm), most sig­nif­i­cant in the males. Both male and female have spot­ted unpaired fins and on the side of the body, 03 (often 2) con­sec­u­tive thick black spots. Some males have sev­eral small red dots around these black spots. The body col­oration varies from light beige to bronze or even burgundy.
Breed­ing with parosphromenus linkei is rel­a­tively easy com­pared to other parosphromenus species, it is known to be robust and less sen­si­tive. Some­times very large bub­ble nest is built, a clutch can be large for big ani­mal (up to 100 eggs or more)
Source : Peter Finke
Pho­to­cre­dit 2+3 Orig­i­nal habi­tat of P. linkei, Suka­mara, photo Kishii
1 Male, 4 female, 5. nest, 6 fry, 7 male Photo Rafael Eggli
P. paludicola pair Copyright Wentian ShiP. paludicola habitat Copyright Mohd Illiam Norhakim Lokman P. paludicola habitat Copyright Mohd Illiam Norhakim Lokman Paludicola 'Paka' (Copyright Christian Hinz) P. paludicola Copyright David Jones

Parosphromenus palu­di­cola Tweedie 1952

P. palu­di­cola was the sec­ond form after ‘deiss­neri’ recog­nised clearly as a dis­tinct species due to its struc­tural pecu­liar­i­ties. It was dis­cov­ered only around 1950 in Tereng­ganu by the cura­tor of the Raf­fles Museum, M.W.F. Tweedei and got its first descrip­tion in 1952.
The dis­tri­b­u­tion is very large extended in the north-​east of the Malaysian penin­sula (province Tereng­ganu), occur­ing even in south­ern Thai­land as the only licorice gourami species.
The almost total absence of light colours in this unusual species shows that its cen­tre of dis­tri­b­u­tion is not sit­u­ated in black water. Like other Parosphromenus some of their local vari­ants inhabit black water habi­tats as well, but oppo­site to almost all other Parosphromenus forms, they live in clear water, too (but mainly in tran­si­tional areas). They pre­fer lighter biotopes, com­pared to other species of the genus: their adapt­abil­ity to man-​made water bod­ies (road­side chan­nels, reser­voirs, pond-​like struc­tures) is much higher.
P. palu­di­cola is described as quite an unusual species of parosphromenus, as it has some char­ac­ter­is­tics which is dif­fer­ent from other species. This can par­tic­u­larly be observed in the fin struc­ture and in the lack of flu­o­res­cent col­ors in the unpaired fins (with few excep­tions). The body appear more elon­gated. (see https://​www​.parosphromenus​-project​.org/​e​n​/​p​a​l​u​d​i​c​o​l​a.)
Within the species, though, vari­a­tions occurs quite often in col­oration, with beige-​brown, bluish-​pink, or brown-​red or almost entirely red colour. Fur­ther­more fish of most pop­u­la­tions are elon­gated and thin, while oth­ers appear com­pact with higher backs. The ven­tral fins of all males have very long fil­a­ments. The cau­dal fins of some males are also oval or tri­an­gu­lar elon­gated with sev­eral fil­a­ments, while oth­ers are more rounded with just one mid­dle fil­a­ment ray
Usu­ally one of the least demand­ing licorice gouramis, because it is not nec­es­sar­ily depen­dent on the sim­u­la­tion of pure black water con­di­tions. The species is there­fore (together with P. fil­a­men­to­sus or P. linkei) par­tic­u­larly well suited for begin­ners in the licorice gourami aquar­ium hobby. The con­duc­tiv­ity of the water should be less than 100 micro Siemens /​cm, a value between 30 and 50 is con­sid­ered ideal. The pH value can range between 4.0 and 6.5, the height of the value is not cru­cial, but a low value can be use­ful for its antibi­otic effect. The addi­tion of humic sub­stances or humic acid-​emerging mate­r­ial is also help­ful. That the species is not found in pure black water, does not mean that humic sub­stances can be dis­pensed entirely.
P. palu­di­cola clutches may be among the largest in the genus (up to 100 eggs). A bub­ble nest is built, but often it remains rudimentary.
P. palu­di­cola is one of the species which the Parosphromenus Project has good suc­cess with, — it is being safely kept in good num­bers in our CCP programme.
Pho­tos 1. Male and female (Went­ian Shi) 2 + 3 Palu­di­cola habi­tat (Mohd Illiam Norhakim Lok­man) 4. male (David Jones) 5 Palu­di­cola ‘Paka’ (Chris­t­ian Hinz)

UK coordinator Kevin Marshall and Chester Zoo manager Hannah Thomas Adult paludicola photo David Jones

Almost a year to the day after receiv­ing a gift of 6 young P. palu­di­cola from Chester Zoo our UK co-​ordinator Kevin Mar­shall is pleased to wel­come Chester Zoo’s man­ager Han­nah Thomas to his fish house to hand over fry back to the zoo in order to bol­ster their breed­ing program.

In the Parosphromenus Project we also some­times have the oppor­tu­nity to go out and present our work in dif­fer­ent places. We greatly appri­ci­ate this.
Yes­ter­day I vis­ited Malmø Akvariefören­ing, in Swe­den, to talk about parosphromenus species and the work of the Parosphromenus Project. An alto­gether pleas­ant evening with inter­ested lis­ten­ers, and also a fine day walk­ing around in spring­time Malmø cen­ter. Heres a few pic­tures 🙂 — Helene
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