Two year old male Aphanius baeticus - I ll replace the picture soon
This Iranian species was believed to be “Extinct in the Wild” as the river dried out and despite serious efforts, it was not found again for a while. Very recently, it has been rediscovered in the Zayandeh river by Hamid Reza Esmaeili (Shiraz), what is indeed very good news. My fishes go back to a stock collected by Bettina Reichenbacher (Munich) from Ezhyeh at the Zayandeh River, the type locality of this species, in 2008. This captive stock is kept by several killifish enthusiasts in Europe. From the captive stock, I received three pairs in 2011 which spawned without problems and a nice broodstock could be build up. Aphanius isfahanensis seems to be sensitive to skin infections in the winter facility and I keep them at 2-3 ‰. During summer, this is not needed and I keep them, as the other Aphanius at 0.5 -1.0 ‰, or even less.
Two year old male of A. sophiae from the Gavkhoni wetlands
In August 2008, Iranian scientists Yazdan Keivany and Saaeed Asadollah exported eight Aphanius from Gavkhoni wetlands (from 30 km von Varzaneh) and three Aphanius from Zayandeh River at Zarinshar to Leiden. Zayandeh River is flowing to Gavkhoni wetlands, which is the terminal lake of this basin. As Aphanius species are usually allopatric, it was expected that all are A. isfahanensis, a species described in 2006. The imported fishes have been mixed up and their offspring, labeled as Aphanius isfahanensis “Gavkhoni wetlands”, has been given to several killifish enthusiasts in Europe. In 2008, A. isfahanensis was again imported from the type locality to Germany. Comparing both stocks, it is obvious, that they do not belong to the same species. Males are easily distinguished by a black margin of the dorsal and anal fin in males in A. isfahanensis (vs. a white margin in fishes from Gavkhoni wetlands). Pictures taken from the original individuals from Gavkhoni wetlands exported to Leiden, show that both species had been imported. While black and white fin fishes might have been hybridized, it is not clear if this really happened. I kept this species for three years until racoons took the spawners. I received the fishes in 2010 from the Belgian hobbyist Herman Meews and all adult males have white dorsal and anal fin margins. Within the project FREDIE, we could sequence one of the wild caught fishes which turned out to represent A. sophiae. Many things could be said here about A. sophiae and its distribution.