Zoogoneticus purhepechus

Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
Zoogoneticus purhepechus
English Name: 
La Luz or Tarascan Splitfin
Mexican Name: 
Picote La Luz
Original Description: 

  DOMÍNGUEZ-DOMÌNGUEZ, O., PÉREZ-RODRÍGUEZ, R. & I. DOADRIO (2008): Morphological and genetic comparative analyses of populations of Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae) from Central Mexico, with description of a new species. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 79: pp 373-383

Holotype: 

  Collection-number: Colección de Peces de la Universidad Michoacana, Cat. No. CPUM-1509.

  The Holotype is a mature male of 34.12mm standard length, collected by L. Couvreur, J. de Moree, K. de Jong, J. C. Merino and L. Escalera-Vázquez in November 2002. Together with the Holotype were collected 28 Paratypes of both sexes and placed at several institutes (Cat. No's. CPUM-1055, MNCM-246184, CNP-IBUNAM-14425-14427).

  Drawing of the Holotype and a Paratype of Zoogoneticus purhepechus:

Types of Zoogoneticus purhepechus

Terra typica: 

  The Holotype was collected in a spring fed pond called La Luz (other name: Presa Verduzco) from the Río Duero drainage, lower Río Lerma system, Zamora de Hidalgo, Michoacán.

Etymology: 

  This species is named for the indigenous ethnic group "Purhepecha" that lives in a part of the distribution range of this species, including the type locality. This people was very powerful in former times, but lives in the shadow nowadays. It was called "Michihuáquè" in Náhuatl, which means: those, who have fish. The name Michoacán for the federal state has the same origin and means: land of those who have fish (michin = fish; hua = owner; can = land)

Synonyms: 

Platypoecilus quitzeoensis     Bean, 1898 (partially)

Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis    Meek, 1902 (partially)

Distribution and ESU's: 

  The Tarascan Splitfin is endemic to the Mexican federal states of Jalisco and Michoacán. It historically occured in the Lower Río Lerma drainage including this river itself and several affluents like the Río Duero, then the Laguna Chapala and adjacent sections of the Río Grande de Santiago including some affluents until about Guadalajara. Furthermore it inhabited the endorheic lagoons W of the Chapala lake, means the lagunas Atotonilco, San Marcos, Zacoalco, and de Sayula, the upper Río Ameca drainage and finally the endorheic Laguna Magdalena basin. The species disappeared from Río Grande de Santiago, from most of the known places in the endorheic lagoon areas and from most of the habitats within the Río Ameca drainage. The large distribution area and different populated drainages are the reason for distinguishing six subpopulations of this Splitfin: The Lower Río Lerma subpopulation (type subpopulation) including the Río Duero, the Laguna Chapala/ Río Grande de Santiago subpopulation, the Laguna Magdalena subpopulation, the Upper Río Ameca subpopulation, the Laguna de Sayula subpopulation, and the Laguna San Marcos subpopulation, including the lagunas San Marcos, Zacoalcos and Atotonilco. 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 three letters of the genus, followed by the first two letters of the species name and an ongoing number in each species.

  In Zoogoneticus purhepechus, Molecular genetics give us the possibility to distinguish three ESU's (reference: Domínguez-Domínguez et al., 2008 and unpublished data): The first unit - Zoopu1 - encompasses populations of the Río Lerma basin, means from the Laguna Los Negritos (La Alberca), the lagos Chapala, Jaripo, La Plantanera and Camécuaro, the springs and presas La Luz, Cupatziro and Orandino and the ríos Celio, Jaripo and Duero. This ESU has to be threated as endangered. The second unit - Zoopu2 - is distributed west of Zoopu1, especially in the ríos Ameca, Veneros, the manantial Almoloya, the Lago Magdalena and finally in the Rio Teuchitlán. The same status goes with this ESU: Endangered. The third and last ESU, Zoopu3 is distributed in the Sayula valley: Tanque El Molino at Cuyacapán. It was thought to be extinct, was rediscovered on a survey of the GWG n 2016, but disappeared again in 2018. The status for this population is Critically endangered.

 

  The Upper (blue) and Middle (violet) Río Ameca, the Laguna Chapala (green), the Upper (grey) and Lower (pink) Río Grande de Santiago, the Río Armería (orange) and the Lower Río Lerma (yellow) subbasins on a Mexico map:

Zoogoneticus purhepechus, subbasins

  Distribution of the Tarascan Splitfin. Two subsequent detailed maps show the populated sub- and infrabasins. In all the maps, the bold red line encompasses the species' distribution, the thin red lines separate the infrabasins, partly even ESU's. For a more detailed distribution, see the map for the Maximum Extent of Occurence (EOO):

Zoogoneticus purhepechus infrabasins

  Map A - Eastern drainages: Zoogoneticus purhepechus was orginally described from the Río Duero infrabasin (DUE), where it is partly common, but must have existed as well in the other three infrabasins of the Lower Río Lerma subbasin, the Lower Río Lema (LLE), the Jamay-Pajacuarán (JPA)  and the Río Chico (CHI) infrabasin. It seems to be extinct today in all of these watersheds. It furthermore occurs in the Río Sahuayo (SAH) infrabasin, Laguna Chapala subbasin, where it still can be found at least in the Los Negritos ponds. All these locations are populated with fish from the ESU Zoopu1:

Zoogoneticus purhepechus infrabasins east

  Map B - Western drainages: Within the Laguna Chapala subbasin, the ESU Zoopu1 inhabits additionally the Laguna Chapala infrabasin (CHA), while Zoopu3 is (was?) found in the lagunas Atotonilco (ATO) and de Sayula (SAY) infrabasins. The Upper Río Grande de Santiago subbasin with the Laguna Cajititlán infrabasin (CAJ), the Zapotlán del Rey infrabasin (ZAP) and (maybe) the Zapotlanejo infrabasin (ZJO) was again populated with fish from the ESU Zoopu1, but those all seem to be gone. One infrabasin within the Lower Río Grande de Santiago basin, the Laguna Magdalena infabasin (MAG), and the two sections of the Upper Río Ameca (UAM-L, UAM-U) and the Middle Río Ameca infrabasin (MAM) are home to the ESU Zoopu2, probably the fish from the borderlands of the Río Ayuquila infrabasin (AYU) as well. The last ones and the stocks from the lower sections of the Río Ameca (UAM-L and MAM) seem to be gone.

Zoogoneticus purhepechus infabasins west

  Maximum Extent of Occurence of Zoogoneticus purhepechus

Maximum EOO of Zoogoneticus purhepechus

Status : 

  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): not assessed (assessment in process)

  Conservation status and population trends of Mexican Goodeids (Lyons, 2011): endangered/declining: "This species was recently split off from Z. quitzeoensis based on genetic and morphological differences (Domínguez-Domínguez et al., 2007, 2008). The historical range of this species encompassed the lower Lerma, upper Santiago (including Lake Chapala), upper Ameca, and upper Armería river basins on the Pacific slope, and the endorheic Lake Magdalena, Atotonilco, San Marcos, and Sayula basins in west-central Mexico (Miller et al., 2005; Domínguez-Dominguez et al., 2008). Lake drying, water pollution, and introductions of non-native species have eliminated Z. purhepechus from the Armeria, Atotonilco, and San Marcos basins, and possibly also the Ameca basin, and since the late 1990’s, the species has become rare in the Santiago (only a remnant population persists in Lake Chapala), Magdalena, and Sayula basins. The best remaining populations are in four small spring-fed lakes in the Duero River drainage of the lower Lerma River basin (Lyons et al., 1998; Soto-Galera et al., 1998)."

  NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010: no categoría de riesgo (no category of risk)

Habitat: 

  Zoogoneticus purhepechus can be found in lakes, streams, ponds, canals and ditches over substrates of clay, silt, mud, sand, gravel, decayed organic matter and rocks. It prefers clear to muddy water with currents none to moderate and can be seen in depths of less than 1m, usually less than 0.6m, pefering areas with dense vegetation including green algae, Eichhornia, Scirpus, Potamogeton, Nasturtium, Chara and Lemna.

Río Teuchitlán

Balneario Al Moloya

Manantial en La Estancia de Ayones

Lago de Camécuaro

 Manantial La Luz

 

Lago de Chapala

Los Negritos

 

 

Biology: 

  Captures of young from the closely related Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis indicate a reproduction period from January to April. Kingston (1979) noted pregnant females and fish in all sizes of Zoogoneticus purhepechus in April at the Lago de Camécuaro in Jalisco.

 

  In the manantial La Luz and in the Lago de Camécuaro, Köck, Davies, Radax, Hunter and Betancourt collected Zoogoneticus purhepechus in November 2014. In the Lago de Camécuaro, the species was hiding between Taxodium roots similar to the sister species (Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis) in Zacapu, whereas the same species was hiding between rocks and reed at La Luz. In all habitats, different stages of juvenile fish as well as adult fish and even gravid females could have been collected easily with hand nets.

 

  Slaboch et al. found this species in 2010 mainly in irrigation channels and small ditches.

Diet: 

  The teeth are conical and the gut is short. Combined with a small mouth, this species is definitely a predator, picking small invertebrates like crustaceans and insect larvae.

Size: 
The maximum known standard length is 57mm (Domínguez-Domínguez et al., 2008).
Colouration: 

  Both sexes exhibit a light brown colouration, with dark brown and moderately large spots on the posterior part of the body, starting at the base of the caudal fin. In the anterior part of the body, a mottling pattern of small spots can be distinguished at the top of the ventral region. They show a pair of dark brown spots laterally aligned at the base of the caudal peduncle, in the region of the hypural plate. In males, during the breeding season, these spots could not be distinguished. The ventral region lacks spots. Adult males are slightly darker than females and may show a slightly bluish or greenish hue on the lateral side of the body and some scales can produce iridescence. The males from the type locality show an intense red band at the end of the pelvic and dorsal fins. In specimens from other localities, this band may be an intense orange.

Remarks: 

  Although this species is widely distributed in different drainages along the occidental part of Central México, there has been observed a reduction in its distribution of almost 75% of the historical occurence points (Domínguez 2008). The most common alterations are the introduction of exotic species, dessication and water pollution. Following Domínguez, this species is in threat of being extinct.

 

  In 2011, L. Boto, O. Domínguez and I. Doadrio studied the relationship within Zoogoneticus purhepechus. The results suggest a very close kin relation for the populations from the lower Río Lerma basin and Lake Chapala area on one hand, and for the populations from the upper Río Armería and lakes Moloya and Magdalena on the other. This genetic differences find expression in 2 clear defined lineages within this species.

 

  Optically, the two species quitzeoensis and purhepechus are hardly to distinguish. The main morphological difference is the longer dorsal fin of purhepechus (13 or 14 rays to 11 till 13 in quitzeoensis), and thereof resulting divergent distances from snout to dorsal fin and dorsal fin to caudal fin. Genetically, the differences in the cytochrome b gene range between 3 and 3.8%, which is a higher value than it can be found between some other species (0.6 - 1.7% between Skiffia francesae and multipunctata e.g.) -  and even more than between man and chimpanzee regarding the same gene (3%), so both species are well defined and the results are statistically strong supported.

Husbandry: 

  Looking on the habitats of Zoogoneticus purhepechus, they suggest the species may prefer dense vegetation and roots (in the aquarium even dense artificial staff) to hide. In the wild, there was little or none current to observe in the biotops, so it won't be necessary in the aquarium as well. In the aquarium, the fish often hide deep in the shelter, but courting and impressing as well as fighting males 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 80 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 from small invertebrates. Zoogoneticus purhepechus was observed at la Mintzita spring looking for small sources of food between rocks (Köck, 2014) and picking up small Copepods or organic matter. In the aquarium, the food should be composed of different small frozen or freeze dried invertebrates (Daphnia, Bloodworms, Artemia), small livefood (e.g. Nauplia, Cyclops, Daphnia) and good flake food or tablets respectively granulat food.

 

  In some cases, Zoogoneticus purhepechus are attacking tales of other fish, not only Guppys but also Goodeids (e.g. Ameca splendens), whereas Skiffia - species have not been attacked by the same fish (pers. obs. Köck). However, this species does better in its own tank.

 

  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 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.

Locations