Aphanius apodus


Three year old male pure A. apodus

My broodstock of this Algerian species is based on fishes originally collected by the Dutch aquarist Rob Vonk in 1990 from a stream south of Ain M'Lila, east of Fourchi (about 36°00'N 6°34'E). This stock is kept by several killifish enthusiasts since. The population in Ain M´Lila might be extirpated but nobody seem to have visited it again. During our expedition to Algeria in 2011, we were not able to find the species. Algerian colleagues told us that it still exist in nature, at least at one site in the area of Batna. But other colleagues (from Batna) strictly rejected the idea, that if might still occur in that area. Indeed, the fishes of the area have been studied and the species might be extinct in the wild meanwhile.

From the captive stock, I received several juveniles but was not able to raise them. With a second attempt to get this species, I received two adults which then spawned in 2011. But eggs did not develop and I expected to have a sterile male. In summer 2011, I got another two males and four females which I added to the pair I already had. With the new males, I breed about 60 juveniles which sadly turned out to have pelvic fins. This, and the sterile male are clear indications that hybrids with Aphanius iberus had been involved. It is well known, that these hybrids are fertile in females but sterile in males and their offspring has pelvic fins. Excluding the hybrids, a new attempt to breed the species was successful in 2012 and since I have a very nice broodstock - always without pelvic fins. While the juveniles start spawning in their second summer, they are only fully grown in their fourth summer. This species grows relatively large and is very prolific. The only challenge are sudden outbreaks of Ichthyophthirius in this species - what never happened to me in the other Aphanius. Since I experienced this again in 2014, I keep them at higher salinity.


Joerg Freyhofs Fischsammlung