Wednesday 25 December 2013

Two new species of Gourami from Sumatra.

Gourami (Osphronemidae) are freshwater members of the Perch Order (Perciformes) found from Pakistan to Korea and south to Indonesia. They are often found in shallow, warm, oxygen-poor waters, and have a special lung-like labyrinth organ, that allows them to gulp air and absorb oxygen from it. Many species of Gourami are mouth breeders (i.e. they raise their young in their mouths), others build nests and are often highly terretorial.

In a paper published in the journal Vertebrate Zoology on 10 December 2012, Ingo Schindler and Horste Linke describe two new species of Gourami from Sumatra, Indonesia. Both are placed in the genus Parosphromenus, which is known from Peninsula Thailand and Malaysia, as well as Sumatra, Borneo and some smaller Indonesian islands.

The first new species is named Parosphromenus gunawani, in honour of Gunawan ‘Thomas’ Kasim, whi helped to collect the specimens from which the species is named. Thus is a 124-130 mm yellowish or light brown Fish, with darker stripes and black red and blue bands on its fins. The species was found living in waters 30-100 cm deep in peat swamps in northern Jambi province. The water in these swamps was coloured a dark brown, and had a pH averaging about 4.1 (roughly as acid as Tomato juice).

Parosphromenus gunawani, adult male. Schindler & Linke (2012).

The second new species is named Parosphromenus phoenicurus, meaning 'crimson tail'. This is a 129-133 mm yellowish or light brown Fish with black, red and blue bands on its fins and a distinctive red and black tail. It was found living in black swampwater, with a pH of about 5.25 in the Sungai
Kampar river drainage at Langgam in the province of Riau.

 Parosphromenus phoenicurus, adult male. Schindler & Linke (2012).

 Island of Sumatra, showing collecting sites for  Parosphromenus phoenicurus (yellow dot) and  Parosphromenus gunawani (red dot).  Schindler & Linke (2012).

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