Monday, June 15, 2015

Chinese banner

"Chinese banner" diptych, 2 panels of 40x50cm (total length 1m.)
In 2011 a new species of Chaetodontidae, Heniochus diphreutes, was found by comparative analysis of the morphological characteristics in a taxonomic revision of the family Chaetodontidae in China. Have a look at the elongated dorsalfin and you will know why their popular name is Bannerfish. 
The species has been imported many times as H. acuminatus. Interesting for marine aquarists as H. diphreutes is considered 'reef safe' while H. acuminatus is known to nibble on corals. So, to avoid your collection of live corals being destroyed by your Bannerfish, the question is, how can the two species be distinguished? 

Heniochus diphreutes (left) and H. acuminatus (right)
Well, if you like details you may consider to do some counting. H. diphreutes usually has 12 spines in its dorsal fin and 2-3 rows of teeth on both jaws (versus 11 spines and 5-7 rows of teeth in H. acuminatus). As Bannerfish are active swimmers I reckon counting is not the easiest way. Luckily there are more distinguishable, external characters available. The ventral profile of the head is convex in H. diphreutes (versus almost straight); the anal fin more angular, and the black area on the posterior part of the anal fin usually extending anteriorly to the longest soft ray (versus more round, and usually not extending anteriorly to longest soft ray in H. acuminatus). Probably the easiest way to tell the two species apart is the length of the snout, which is considerably shorter than the eye in H. diphreutes

Want to know more about these fish? Here's the full description:
Have fun reading's in Chinese.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Pterapogon kauderni is a popular fish in the marine aquariumhobby. Kauderni's are mouthbreeders, which makes the species 'easy' to breed. The photo shows the juveniles in the mouth of the father, shortly before they are released. Great photo which I admire because it takes much, much patience to make pictures like this. I have been sitting in front of my breeders tank, on my knees, for over an hour. Trying to film the spawning of a pair kauderni's, without any luck. That is, they were 'dancing' (mostly vibrating their bodies), but I couldn't film the actual moment when the male would take the eggs in his mouth.

Breeding and raising kauderni's is great fun. If you have any experience in breeding fish, kauderni's will not be any problem. I have raised several broods of these pyama fish. Although I often missed the moment the young fish were released by the father, a number of juveniles always end up in the filter system. Contrary to the anemone fish, or clownfish, there are no misbars or color forms of Pterapogon kauderni. As far as known, there also is only one color type in nature.
There is a lot of quarreling about the status of kaudernis. Threatened, endangered or...not? It seems they are far less endangered as mostly believed. A second population has been found. Introduced to the new area by fishermen. But very succesful. If you like to keep them in your marine aquarium, ask for captive bred specimens. They are easier to keep. Even easier to breed. Considering the succesful breeding records by many fish breeders, wild caught specimens are not necessary. Whether they are threatened or not.

Kaudernis are also known as Banggai Cardinals, or Pyama Cardinals. When I was doing the painting, pictured hereby, another idea came to my mind. I made a limited series of nine 'rockies'. Small stones,15x15cm, painted on both sides. Front side a Banggai Cardinal,back side a smaller copy of my seahorse series.