Parosphromenus bar­barae

(under con­struc­tion — nov. 2021)

First describ­tion: July 2020 TAN HOEK HUI & JONKAR GRINANG

Ver­te­brate Zool­ogy 70 (3) 349356

Char­ac­ter­is­tics: Parosphromenus bar­barae can be differen­tiated from its con­geners with the fol­low­ing unique com­bi­na­tion of char­ac­ters: pres­ence of faint ocel­lus on pos­te­rior base of dorsal-​fin; pres­ence of dis­tinct ocel­lus on cau­dal fin base; pres­ence of dis­tinct three cream and
two and half dark brown stripes on body; dorsal-​fin rays XIXIV, 45 (total count 1518, mode 17); anal-​fin rays XIXIII, 610 (total count 1921, mode 21); lat­eral scales 2931½ (mode 29

Male - Body and head yellowish-​brown. Yellowish-​brown stripe run­ning along whole dor­sum. First dark brown stripe start­ing at upper jaw, run­ning to preorbital, run­ning obliquely upwards and along dor­sal half of body to upper part of cau­dal pedun­cle. Sec­ond dark brown stripe run­ning pos­tor­bital directly behind eye to oper­cle edge and along mid-​body to caudal-​fn base. Sub-​orbital area with grey pig­ments, form­ing into two bro­ken oblique streaks to oper­cle area. Belly sil­very gold. Dor­sal fn red­dish, with mid sec­tion brighter red, bright blue mar­gin, indis­tinct darker red ocel­lus on pos­te­rior basal area. Cau­dal fn red­dish, bright blue mar­gin, sub­dis­tal black band with a sec­ond grey band around mid-​section; dis­tinct black ocel­lus at base of cau­dal fn. Anal fn reddish, with basal area dark grey, thin black stripe along mid-​section, bright blue mar­gin. Pelvic fns with bright blue iri­des­cence, with two dark grey bands, one at base of fla­men­tous ray, another at mid-​section. Pec­toral fn hyaline.

Female and juve­nile with drab colouration. Body with two dis­tinct dark brown stripes, frst stripe run­ning near dor­sum from top of head to cau­dal pedun­cle, sec­ond stripe run­ning directly post-​orbital to just below mid-​body to caudal-​fn base. Juve­nile often with irreg­u­lar dark brown blotches all over body, giv­ing a mot­tled appear­ance (which is typ­i­cal of this genus).

Sim­i­lar species:

Occurence/​Distribution: The species is cur­rently known only from one rem­nant peat swamp for­est near Batam Kayam in Lundu near the west­ern tip of Sarawak. It is how­ever noted that, this swamp for­est habi­tat has been highly mod­ifed by plant­ing of oil palm estates and the con­struc­tion of the Pan Bor­neo High­way and may no longer sup­port this species.

Threat: The threat to this species is extremely high, — it has not been caught at the orig­i­nal loca­tion for some years, — as this has been com­pletely dis­turbed. Cur­rently we know only of a few spec­i­ments which is in the Core Con­ser­va­tion Pro­gramme with high priority.

Discovery/​First import: Allan & Bar­bara Brown (1987) con­ducted a labyrinth fsh (specif­cally look­ing for Betta and Parosphromenus) sur­vey in Sarawak. How­ever, due to dif­fer­ent objec­tives, they only kept liv­ing mate­r­ial that they sub­se­quently bred in cap­tiv­ity. From that sur­vey mate­r­ial, Parosphromenus allani had been described by Brown in 1987, and subsequently Betta browno­rum was described by Witte & Schmidt in 1992. In Brown & Brown’s 1987 sur­vey, they dis­cov­ered three main pop­u­la­tions of Parosphromenus. One pop­u­la­tion (type local­ity of P. allani; listed as 1/86/B&B and 17/86/B&B; basi­cally the same gen­eral loca­tion) found along the out­skirts of Sibu town, one loca­tion at 23/86/B&B (labeled as Sungei Sting­gang [sic, should be Stung­gang], near Lundu) and another loca­tion at 30/86/B&B (near Matang; this loca­tion is not listed with Parosphromenus, but lists a fgure of Parosphromenus from that loca­tion). Brown (1987) pro­vided a scanty descrip­tion for P. allani based on mate­r­ial near Sibu. Kot­te­lat & Ng (2005) resolved the descrip­tions of P. allani and P. har­veyi with des­ig­na­tion of lec­to­types, and described six new species. Kot­te­lat & Ng (2005) also com­mented that there was pos­si­bil­ity of other species look­ing sim­i­lar to P. allani from south­ern Sarawak. This cur­rent study will fol­low up on the south­ern Sarawak pop­u­la­tion near Lundu area. This is the species deacribed as P. barbarae





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