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geo surinamensis in australia?

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From Sydney Cichlid web site:

Important Update: After a little investigation by Tim Bardsley-Smith, Kevin Sorensen and Chris Davis the fish we have in Australia in this complex have been partially sorted out.

Some important clarifications:

1. There are no Geophagus surinamensis in Australia.

2. We have two commonly available types in Australia, one is a varient of Geophagus altifrons, though the location remains unclear, the other is Geophagus brachybranchus. For purposes of identification black throated “surinamensis” are G. brachybranchus, while the non-black throated “surinamensis” are the aforementioned Geophagus altifrons. Recently, a number of other varients eg: G. altifrons ‘Rio Tocantins’ have become available. Australian hobbyists need to take utmost care to avoid mixing these fish and accidentally creating hybrids.

I currently have 18 @ 12cms sold to me as surinamensis when only 4cms. Eight of them show a black throat, the others do not.


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And from seriously fish:

Representatives of the G. surinamensis assemblage are diagnosed by their relatively deep head and body shape, possession of a variably-sized dark spot on each flank and presence or absence of a small, dark preopercular marking. There are currently thirteen described members but diversity is predicted to eventually prove much greater with a number of undescribed forms known some of which, such as G. sp. ‘orange head’, G. sp. 'Areoes' and G. sp. 'Pindare', are regularly seen in the aquarium trade. The described species are G. abalios , G. altifrons, G. brachybranchus , G. brokopondo , G. camopiensis , G. dicrozoster , G. megasema, G. neambi , G. parnaibae , G. proximus , G. surinamensis, G. sveni and G. winemilleri .

Only five Geophagus species aren't included in that group, namely G. argyrostictus , G. gottwaldi, G. grammepareius, G. harreri and G. taeniopareius . These are most easily separated on the basis that they all possess a complete infraorbital stripe but oddly have not had their own group name assigned, usually being referred to simply as "non-G. surinamensis group" species.

Accurate identification of G. surinamensis group members has been notoriously problematic for a number of reasons, not least that prior to Kullander (1986) G. surinamensis itself was thought to range throughout the Orinoco, Amazon and Guianas river systems but is now considered endemic to the Rio Surinam and Rio Maroni/Marowijne drainages in eastern Suriname. Several former 'populations' have subsequently been described as species in their own right, six since the turn of the century, meaning older literature is unreliable. Further, the majority of Geophagus species in the hobby are sold as G. surinamensis regardless of origin - a situation which continues to cause confusion and exacerbated by the fact that young specimens of most species are virtually identical. G. surinamensis is in fact almost never exported and very few privately-owned specimens exist.

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