Xenotoca cf. variata

Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
Xenotoca variata
English Name: 
Lake Cuitzeo Jeweled Splitfin
Mexican Name: 
Pintada de Cuitzeo
Original Description: 

  undescribed species

Distribution and ESU's: 

  The Lake Cuitzeo Jeweled Splitfin is endemic to the Mexican federal states of Michoacán and Guanajuato. It occures exclusively in the endorheic Río Grande de Morelia basin (including the Lago Cuitzeo and the Presa Cointzio) and several springs in this basin like the manatinales La Maiza, San Cristobal and La Mintzita as well as the springs in Zinapécuaro and Huingo. No subpopulations are distinguished. The underlined names are the ones officially used by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía; nevertheless, other ones might be more often in use or better known and therefore prefered.


  ESU ist short for Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Each unit expresses an isolated population with different genetic characteristics within one species.  ESU's can be defined by Molecular genetics, Morphology and/or Zoogeography and help in indicating different phylogenetic lineages within a species. The abbreviation for an ESU is composed of the first 3 letters of the genus, followed by the first 2 letters of the species name and an ongoing number in each species.


  In Xenotoca cf. variata we are not able to distinguish any ESU. As the species is stilled ranked as Xenotoca variata, the corresponding abbreviation is Xenva5


Río Grande de Morelia subbasin

  Maximum Extent of Occurence of Xenotoca cf. variata:

Maximum EOO of Xenotoca cf. variata

Status : 

  not assessed, undescribed species


  This species lives in the huge Cuitzeo lake, where it can be found in murky water in the open and close to the shore near to reed over sand, gravel and mud. Other habitats are springs like La Mintzita or San Cristobal spring that show clear water with lots of submerse vegetation (Nymphaea, Ceratophyllum in La Mintzita spring) and algae on rocks, where the fish are permanently looking for food. Like nearly all Goodeids, they prefer shallow water with depths less than 1m.


Lago de Cuitzeo ILago de Cuitzeo II


Lago de Cuitzeo IIILago de Cuitzeo IV


Manantial La Mintzita IManantial La Mintzita II


Manantial La Mintzita IIIManantial La Mintzita IV


San Cristobal spring ISan Cristobal spring II


  Mouth, jaws, gut and dentition suggest omnivorous feeding habits, but he length of the gut differs in length ( between 1 and 1.5 times the size of the body) as well as the food-preferences, depending on the nutrition available (prefering carnivorous food), from water insects and fish-fry to algae.


  Looking on the habitats of Xenotoca cf. variata, they suggest the species is not in need of a special habitat structure as some of the locations show no or little vegetation, whereas others do, with clear to murky water. Nevertheless, it may prefer dense vegetation and roots (in the aquarium even dense artificial staff) to hide. In the wild, there was medium strong to no current to observe in the biotops, so it won't be necessary in the aquarium to provide strong current. In the aquarium, the fish rarely hide in the shelter, but courting and impressing males as well as fighting fish of both sexes can often be seen in the open water. Fry is eaten in some cases, in others not, so 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 is often 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 are better for sure. Dense vegetation combined with many roots and wood and free space areas for the males to impose and fight make sense. The current should be low.


  In the wild, the species seem to feed as a typical omnivore from small invertebrates, aufwuchs, algae, organic matter and insects from the surface. Xenotoca cf. variata can be fed in the aquarium with food of different sources, composed of different small frozen or freeze dried invertebrates (DaphniaBloodwormsArtemia), small livefood (e.g. Nauplia, CyclopsDaphnia) and good flake food or tablets respectively granulat food.


    Concerning water quality, this species is in need of greater water changes (60 - 80% every week), 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 burn themselves out. So, mainly 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. 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 gets too warm (25°C?).


  This species does 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 12°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.