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protomelas virgatus

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ok thanks guys. I have 1m 2f of your old colony [MENTION=9246]Donny@ageofaquariums[/MENTION]. Over time they have had some issues chris and paul that owned them and I'm only down to them 3 now.

I just added them in with my kapampa frontosa and seeing how they go in the 8x2x2 but thinking of adding them into a 3ft and focusing on breeding..

I got 1 fry here from chris' batch about 5cm so hopefully another girl.

See what happens.

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Yea groovy man.

Was a hard choice to sell them, but I needed to slim down a lot before I moved.

Definitely a species I will get again when I have time and space lol

Actually succumbed the other day and added a protomelas to my peacock display.

little taiwan reef male.

It aint the same sort of bright yellow as a virgatus...... but hes a funky little fish and knows he is pretty!

Protomelas in general are very under rated fish.

I think its mainly because they take a while to colour up.

Even if they are spectacular later on....... its hard to believe it looking at a silver juvie fish with a few grey bars lol

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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[MENTION=4276]the German[/MENTION]. Yeah I was told you were the only other person that had them and if I'm right you only have a pair. That male isn't showing much colour underneath with the yellow / orange I would of thought compare to the male I have here. Are they in with something else that might be making them not colour up as much.

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I like how you " Started " with a pair ;) Sounds to me like you have a few more up yah sleeve ;)

Never the less they are a nice fish ... Yes protomelas species are under rated people don't like waiting a long time for fish to color up ... but when they protomelas do they are ooooorsum

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There very similar that's for sure from the pic of the 'steveni imperial' off google I just checked out. [MENTION=9246]Donny@ageofaquariums[/MENTION] was the one that brought them up from interstate so I would assume he is on the money with these being virgatus but I do see where you could have that doubt about it [MENTION=237]matt_a[/MENTION].

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They definitely look very similar to sp. "steveni imperial" and not very similar to virgatus. Bear in mind there's a bit of fun and games in their taxonomic history which probably would explain the confusion. I might so some digging later and see what I can come up with.

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I didnt bring most of the ones we speak of from interstate, I actually bought them at a fish auction ( St. Joseph's College Basketball Stadium)a few years back. The bloodline I got from victoria I had previous to this one by a few years, and I managed to kill them to a fish. 80% water change when the tapwater was reading almost 2ppm nitrite.

As to whether they are steveni imperials, thats a hard one to prove either way.

But I am certainly looking forward to what you can dig up. It may also be possible to backtrack QFAS records and find the seller I brought the fry from.

If they can search by species sold, it should be a quick search. Virgatus dont come up often.

Part of the answer may come from exactly how long ago the person who initially bought them as virgatus, did so. When was steveni imperial described?

Thats the thing with slower to mature haps, theres big gaps between buying 5cm fish from someone and having fry from those fish at 5cm to sell.

I have looked at so many different locality colour morphs of virgatus now that I am as confused as anyone.

At its crudest I consider a virgatus a bottom half yellow, top half blue, protomelas looking bream thing.

I'd also prefer it if the Taiwan reef was the only steveni we had to deal with lol

The colour on a good sized male, when he runs a tank, are very nice indeed.

I was putting them into a display at pet city, and they kept selling for $150 each.

The price was meant to stop them selling as I only had a few males up to full size.

but it didnt.

If they dont run the tank, or are a subdominant male.

or they are spooked.

The colours are more subdued, espec the higher yellow.

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From Konings:

The question remains whether to regard the numerous populations of P. sp. 'steveni imperial' as geographical variants of P. virgatus or as a separate species. For the time being I suggest treating them as separate species. The females of P. virgatus are identical in the four populations known and little or no geographical variation seems to exist. The basic melanin pattern of females and juveniles of P. sp. 'steveni imperial', however, differs considerably among populations, in contrast to the breeding colors of males, which seem to consist of a blue body with varying degrees of yellow suffusion on the shoulder. I would group P. virgatus with P. fenestratus, which has a lake-wide distribution but with a rather constant melanin pattern (consisting of heavy bars) in females. P. sp. 'steveni imperial' seems to be closer to P. taeniolatus as both species have variable coloration in females and the melanin pattern of one species can be found in the other in another population.

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And taxonomic history of P. sp. 'steveni imperial':

Taxonomic history:

Protomelas sp. 'steveni imperial', Konings, 1995, provisional name.

Protomelas cf. virgatus, Konings, 2001, misidentification.

I'd say the fish in question should be referred to as sp. 'steveni imperial' and not virgatus.

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Theres some juvie pictures here


They are stressed though...... as yea..... not in the water and all that.

Not 100% sold on the sp. 'steveni imperial'.

IMHO the steveni imperials should be moved into the virgatus species.

They have a different narrow face, sort of more angular.

I know that fenestratus are often mixed up with the steveni imperials.

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