Skiffia multipunctata

First Describer: 
(Pellegrin, 1901)
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Original Description: 

PELLEGRIN, J. (1901): Poissons recueillis par M.L. Diguet dans lètat de Jalisco (Mexique). Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat., Paris 7: pp 204 - 207

Etymology: 

The species name is derived from the Latin and means "with many spots". It is therefore named after its spotted appearance of the types.

Holotype: 

Collection-number: Coll. Mus. Paris 97/371-373. The three types have total lengths of 62, 53 and 29mm, collected by M. L. Diguet, probably 1900.

English Name: 
Splotched Skiffia
Mexican Name: 
Tiro pintado
Synonyms: 

Xenendum multipunctatum   Pellegrin, 1901

Goodea multipunctata   Regan, 1907

Ollentodon multipunctatus   Hubbs & Turner, 1937

Karyotype: 

2n = 46    2M/ 2m/ 4st/  38t   (polymorphic, following Uyeno, Miller & Fitzsimmons, 1983)

Size: 
The maximum known SL is 72mm (Miller et al, 2005).
Terra typica: 

The types come from lakes and ditches of the L`Agua Azul, vicinity of Guadalajara in Jalisco.

Status after IUCN: 

not mentioned

Status after J.Lyons (2011): 

Endangered; Comment: Some decline since 2000

Distribution: 

This species lives in the ríos Lerma-Grande de Santiago basin (above El salto de Juanacatlán) on the Pacific Slope, states of Jalisco till Michoacán.

Habitat: 

The habitats are small lakes, quiet river channels, spring-fed ponds and ditches over substrates of silt, mud, sand and rocks. Usually, the Splotched Splitfin prefers depths of less than 1m in clear to turbid water with currents none to moderate. The vegetation comprises green algae, Lemna, Typha and water hyacinths. In some habitats, there are plenty of roots from Taxodium, where this species is hiding and feeding from aufwuchs. 

Colouration: 

Skiffia multipunctata is very variable in colouration.Typically (but not in all populations) can be found several (up to many) spots on the sides and the unpaired fins, sometimes in rows. Some populations show in the male gender dusky brown blotches, others deep black and big blotches, being not symmetrical on both sides of the fish. Some blotches cover nearly the complete side of the fish. The ground-colour goes from silvery to yellowish-brown, being superimposed (in some popuations) with striking yellow and orange. The edge of the unpaired fins and the nape can be coloured dark-gray to grayish-blue in courtship. The females are mainly grayish-brown without blotches or striking colours.

Biology: 

Young have been captured from February to May, so the reproduction seems to be probably in spring. 

Diet: 

Like in all Skiffia-species, the gut is about 2 to 3 times the length of the fish. The teeth are mainly bifid in both rows. Like its closest relative, Skiffia francesae, this species is grazing aufwuchs and algae, sometimes from roots of Taxodium.

Remarks: 

Langhammer crossbred Skiffia multipunctata and francesae in 1988. The hybrids had been fertile over generations, beautifully coloured with big black blotches on the sides. They have been called "Black Beauties". If some of these hybrids still exist in the United States is told differently and uncertain therefore. Besides the product of Characodon audax and Characodon lateralis, this is the only hybrid among Goodeids without being forced to.  

 

All Skiffia-species are rare in nature and highly endangered. Skiffia multipunctata can currently be found at only 6 of historical 14 reported sites, all of them restricted to the Río Duero drainage. At least one extirpated population (from the Lago de Camécuaro) is still persisting in the hobby. 

Photos: 

 Images 1, 2 and 3: different coloured males from Tangancicuaro

Copyrights by Markus Heussen

Image 4 and 5: males

Image 5: male from La Isla de Zamora

Copyright by Omar Domínguez Domínguez

Image 6: female from Tangancicuaro

Copyright by Markus Heussen

Image 7: female

Copyright by

Image 8: female from Camécuaro

Copyright by Omar Domínguez Domínguez

Image 9: male from Lago de Camécuaro

Image 10: male

Images 11, 12 and 13: males from Rancho Nuevo during an exhibition

Images 14 and 15: females from Rancho Nuevo during an exhibition

Images 16, 17 and 18: male

Image 19: male

Image 20: female

Image 21: very colourful female

Images 22 and 23: males from Tangancicuaro

Copyright: Anton Lamboj

Images 24 and 25: females from Tangancicuaro

Copyright: Anton Lamboj

Images 26 - 28: males from Tangancicuaro

Copyright: Anton Lamboj

Images 29 and 30: females from Tangancicuaro

Copyright: Anton Lamboj