Neoophorus regalis

Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Neoophorus regalis
Original Description: 

  ÁLVAREZ DEL VILLAR, J. (1959): Contribución al conocimiento del genero Neoophorus (Pisc., Goodeidae). Ciencia, Méx. 19 (1-3): pp 13 - 22

Etymology: 

  Álvarez del Villar named the species in dependence on the locality "Los Reyes" which means "Royal couple". The Latin word "regalis" means therefore "belonging to the Royal couple" or "regal".

Holotype: 

  There is no Collection-number available.

  The Holotype is an adult female of 76.5mm SL, collected by P. Francke, 29.08.1958.

English Name: 
Balsas Allotoca
Mexican Name: 
Chorumo de Balsas
Synonyms: 

Alloophorus regalis   Álvarez, 1970

Allotoca regalis   Hieronimus, 1995 

Karyotype: 

 The Karyotype describes the number and appearance of chromosomes during the phase of condensation, classified by the position of the centromere (Levan et al., 1964).

The following abbreviations are employed:

 

M = large metacentric chromsome (a result of Robertsonian fusion)

m = small metacentric chromsome (centromere at medium position)

sm = submetacentric chromsome (centromere at submedian position)

smst = submetacentric-subtelocentric chromosome (continous series)

st = subtelocentric chromosome (centromere at subterminal region)

stt = subtelocentric-acrocentric chromosome (continous series)

t = acrocentric chromosome (centromere at terminal region)

 

The Karyotype of Neoophorus regalis has not been ascertained.

Size: 
The maximum known SL is 60mm (Miller et al, 2005).
Terra typica: 

  The Holotype comes from the "vicinity of Los Reyes" in the state of Michoacán.

Status after IUCN: 

  not assessed

Status following other sources: 

  Endangered; Comment: Declining, very rare

Distribution and ESU's: 

  Neoophorus regalis comes from the Pacific Slope, more precisely from some habitats in the Río Balsas basin. It has been originally described from an unspecified locality near Los Reyes de Salgado, but is now known also from Tocumbo (where it might have disappeared) and Aquiles Serdán in Michoacán.

Habitat: 

  The habitats are quite different. In Tocumbo, the habitat has been modified to a concrete pool, whereas the habitats near Los Reyes and Aquiles Serdán are mainly small ditches and rivers with milky and turbid water. Vegetation is rare, mainly water hyacinths and dense green algae stands. The water depths prefered by this species are less than 0.5m. Neoophorus regalis can be found usually in quiet bays.

Colouration: 

  The colouration of Neoophorus regalis is unique among Goodeids and has been described by Álvarez del Villar as "dark-gray on the dorsal part of the body down to the midline of the sides. The colour becomes clearer very fast till it looks whitish on the venter. No blotches or bars can be detected. The fins appear dark".

Biology: 

  This species is one of the most mystique among Goodeids as nearly nothing is known about its life. Only few observations in the wild have been made and the stocks in captivity disappeared quickly again.

Diet: 

  Due to the dentition of this species, the feeding habits seem to be similar to species of the genus Allotoca, means hunting small invertebrates and insects, fallen on the surface.

Remarks: 

  This species was thought to have disappeared in the wild for a lot of years. As recently as 1993, it has been rediscovered by D. Isla and J. Mangan near Los Reyes de Salgado and since this time found in some small habitats mainly south of the town and a small habitat near Aquiles Serdán. From Tocumbo, where it had been detected in 1978, this species might have disappeared.

 

  Neoophorus regalis had been transfered erroneously to the genus Alloophorus in 1970 by Álvarez because of a similar appearance of the trophotaenia. It took another 25 years before the relationship with Allotoca has been realized again and in 2001, Radda, Meyer and Dominguez refered this species again to the (now) monotypic genus Neoophorus. However, the close relationship with the genus Allotoca is encouraged by several studies (Dominguez, Webb).

 

  This species seems to belong to the most endangered species of Goodeids, due to small habitats and a not very colourful appearance (wherefore it isn't very popular among aquarists). Following Domínguez (pers. comm. 2011), the species is not able to withstand a broad range of water parameters, so even the husbandry seems to be difficult.

  Recent sampling (before 2006) efforts have found only 4 small populations with declining numbers. Sugar cane production and excessive water demand threaten each of these populations. This species is in urgent need of being monitored in the wild and in need of maintenance in captivity!

 

 

Husbandry: 
  Looking on the biotopes of Neoophorus regalis, they suggest the species may prefer a habitat with moderate to swift current, structured with gravel, rocks, roots, branches, fallen leaves and river bank vegetation. Fry is eaten in most of the cases, but it may depend on the quantity and quality of food and on the number of space to hide. When several different stages of juveniles occur, fry may be neglected, so it makes sense to add separate brought up fry to the group with a size of 1.5 or 2cm to provide these stages and get a flock breeding colony.

 

 The recommended tank size is at least 100 liters, bigger ones with a generous base and little height (25cm are enough) are better for sure. With rocks and vegetation in the corners and backsinde of the tank well structured tanks combined with some roots and/ or wood seem to do best with this species. The current should be moderate or swift. 

 

 In the wild, the species seem to feed from small or middle - sized invertebrates like bloodworms or insect larvae, so feeding with similar food, Daphnia, Mysis and other food from animalistic sources will be best for this predatory fish.   

 

 Concerning water quality, this species is in need of greater water changes (60 - 80% every week) like most of the Goodeids, especially river and spring inhabiting species, so an automatic water changing system can be helpful. Otherwise, in combination with constant temperatures higher than 24°C, fish may get sick, lose resistance against diseases and age too fast. So for keeping the strain healthy and strong, give the fish a rest during winter time with temperatures lower than 20°C for 2 or 3 months so they stop producing fry. Allotoca species can be kept down to temperatures of 15 or 16°C without problems for months, some species even lower. In spring, when the temperature slowly increases, they will start spawning at 20 or 21°C and won't stop until it gets colder again or when it gets too warm (25°C?).

 

 This species is doing very well when is kept in the open from spring to fall, starting when the temperature exceeds 15°C water temperature and cold periods are no longer expected. During the warm summer, reproduction will stop and may occur again in fall. Bring the fish in before the temperature goes below 10°C water temperature and keep them cool for the first days, then slowly raise the temperature but try to stay below 20°C over the winter time.

First Describer: 
Álvarez del Villar, 1959
Photos: 

 Image 1: pair from Los Reyes de Salgado

Copyright by Omar Domínguez Domínguez

Image 2: male from La Confradia

Images 3 and 4: male from the Río Quitupan

Copyright: Anton Lamboj

Image 5: female from the Río Quitupan

Copyright: Anton Lamboj

Image 6: male from the Río Quitupan

Copyright by Wolfgang Gessl (www.pisces.at)

Image 7: female from the Río Quitupan

Copyright by Wolfgang Gessl (www.pisces.at)