Saturday, April 28, 2018

Oh Rhads... Adult coloring

The hype or craziness about coloring books for adults seems to be done these days. Too bad, as these fish would be perfect candidates for anyone willing to create their own Rainbowfish. And you know what? No matter what colors you will add to the black and white drawing; there is a high probability your own design may be found in nature. How's that? 

This blog refers to Rhadinocentrus ornatus; Australian Rainbowfish shortly referred to as Rhads. A fish that has been quite popular in the early 1900's. Easy to keep and easy to breed. Pretty little fish (hardly exceeding 7cm length) and the only species in the monotypical family Rhadinocentrus. That's right a family with only one species. One species, but incredibly variable in coloration. Not only does this species differ in coloration in between habitats; even specimens from the same locality can show differences in coloration (as can be seen in the photos of Peter Hansler, showing red and blue morphs, males, from Snapper Creek, Queensland). So, there you are. Give it a try and create your own color morph of Rhads.

Rhadinocentrus belongs to the colorful Rainbowfish. The genus has been described in 1914 by Regan as it differs from other Rainbowfish by the soft finrays. The scientific name is based on the Greek words 'rhadinos' (soft or flexible) and 'kentron' (sting). 
The color morph I painted originates from Carland Creek, Queensland.

Want to give it a try yourself? Print the coloring plate and have fun!

Buy this item:

Prints of the artwork in this blog can be ordered at my printshop in full and in detailed version (without the white borders).

Hansler, Peter: Rainbowrunner (website)
Regan, C. T.  (1914): Report on the freshwater fishes collected by the British Ornithologists' Union expedition and the Wollaston expedition in Dutch New Guinea. - Transactions of the Zoological Society of London Vol. 20 (pt 6, no. 1) (art. 6): 275-286, Pl. 31
Tappin, Adrian R. (2016): Rhadinocentrus ornatus - Rainbowfish (website)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

These fins are made for...

Fish swim. However... You would be surprised if you knew how many species of fish are known because of their flying skills. In most cases, leaving the water is an act of fear. A way to escape predators. The most well known flying fish have elongated fins, which give them the opportunity to glide through the air. The freshwater hatchet fish for instance, Carnegiella species, are well known aquarium fish which also use the air to escape predators. Their body is shaped like a hatchet (Ah! Now you know how they got their vernacular name!) The body is used to glide along the water surface after landing. Real surf dudes these guys!

The fish I have painted today do not fly, glide or surf. But they do have long elongated fins. The Robertsi Tetra has been known by hobbyists for many years (since 1956 to be precise) before it finally got its scientific name in 2014: Hyphessobrycon jackrobertsi. A truly beautiful fish, especially when the males are showing off. Because that's what they use their fins for: dress to impress.

I just love all those colorful tiny tetras. Most of them are doing fine in small groups and easily adapt to the aquarium. In most cases even breeding them is rather easy. I have studied the species of Megalamphodus in 1988; in those days recognised as a valid family name. For the moment Megalamphodus is replaced to Hyphessobrycon. A characid family which includes more than 100 species; its status is still not definitely clarified. A friend of mine, Peter Boeters, a well known fish breeder in those days who passed away too young, had found a few mysterious fish in an aquarium shop. He could not determine the name and asked me to help him out. It took me quite a while, researching ichthyological literature, before I found their name: Megalamphodus eques. That is; I believed I was right at the time. As said the status of the rosy tetras is far from clear; today I am not so sure about my determination any more. 

Eventually my search for the unknown tetra led to my first article published in an official (Dutch) aquarium magazine. I have made a scan of the article (sorry, its all in Dutch) including two of my first drawings and photos of the presumed M. eques: 'Megalamphodus en nog wat' ('Megalamphodus and something else').

Eigenmann, C.H. (1915): The Cheirodontinae, a subfamily of minute characid fishes of South America. - Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, Volume 7 (no.1): 1-99. pls. 1-17.
Weitzman, S.H. and L. Palmer (1997): A new species of Hyphessobrycon (Teleostei: Characidae) from the Neblina region of Venezuela and Brazil, with comments on the putative 'rosy tetra clade'. - Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Volume 7 (no.3): 209-242.
Zarske, Axel (2014): Zur Systematik einiger Blutsalmler oder „Rosy Tetras" (Teleostei: Ostariophysi: Characidae). - Vertebrate Zoology 64 (2): 139-167.

Original artwork available:

Prints of the artwork in this blog can be ordered at my printshop in full and in detailed version (without the white borders).

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bigger Trigger

Made a smaller Triggerfish a few weeks earlier (see my blog 'Triggered'). This week I completed a larger painting (40x120 cm / 15.75 x 47.25), made with sand and acrylics titled 'Square Leopard'. It shows the Leopard or Clown Triggerfish, Balistoides conspicillum (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), upon a nice blue background with red, coral like squares.

Original artwork available:

Prints of the artwork in this blog can be ordered at my printshop.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Flashin' Fairies

Paracheilinus is an Indo-Pacific genus of labrid fish, known as flasher or fairy wrasses. The small fish, hardly exceeding 7 cm of length, are found at depths of 10-65 metres. The genus has been described in 1955; but only since the 1970's, when ichthylogists started to use scuba equipment, these beauties became really known. Nevertheless the first review (Allen, Erdmann & Astria Yusmalinda) was not made until 2016. A great publication to read. Not only because of the information on these fabulous fish, but also to enjoy the beautiful colors of these amazing animals.

Courting males have a spectacular neon-like flasher display. Some species, including the P. filamentosus pictured hereby, have wonderful filamentous dorsal fins. These gorgeous colors and fins are seen in terminal phase (TP) males only. Like most other labrid fishes, the fairies become sexually mature as females known as Initial Phase (IP) fish. The transformed females become TP males which grow larger and more colorful. Paracheilinus are know to form aggregations of tens to hundreds of individuals. The larger TP males defend a harem of females. The color patterns associated with their nuptial display, are used as diagnostic feature for the species. The approximately 20 species which are nowadays  known, are divided into two categories. The filamentosus-group is characterized by the elongated dorsal finrays.

Allen, Gerald R.; Mark V. Erdmann & Niluh Astria Yusmalinda (2016): Review of the Indo-Pacific Flasherwrasses of the genus Paracheilinus (Perciformes: Labridae), with descriptions of three new species. - Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 2016, Volume 19: 18-90. 

Original artwork available:

Prints of the artwork in this blog can be ordered at my printshop in full and in detailed version (without the white borders).