at the last American Livebearer Association
convention in early 2007. The conclusion
of this work was that the Endler’s is in fact
“just” a guppy, albeit a nice one.
The situation that Ted gives good coverage
to is but one among numerous similar
cases. The science of taxonomy, although
governed by a fairly complex set of rules,
is fluid and open to the not so governable
concept of opinion. There are numerous
situations in the field of ichthyology similar
to that mentioned by Ted—not only just
with livebearers or catfishes, but in just
about any group that you can think of. But
this is the natural flow of things, and in
the end we can all benefit—and even be
entertained by it. While there may be little
to no hobby interest in some never-to-be-kept species, fish like Endler’s do capture
the attention of a wide hobby audience.
The same can be said regarding the current
ongoing situation with discus. I am sure
that Wayne Leibel will have more on that
There are many similar parallels with
catfishes. An example that quickly comes
to mind, though somewhat different, is
with the Callichthyidae genus Scleromystax.
It appears everyone agrees that this genus,
which for a long time was considered as a
synonym of Corydoras, is valid. Hobby-wise
the most recognizable species in the genus
is S. barbatus. It has long been recognized
in the hobby that there are some “different”
S. barbatus. At least one of these, according
to some parties, nicely fits within the name
S. kronei, a catfish described in 1907. Those
who believe that this is a different species
use this name. But others consider these
fish as nothing more than a variation and
place it in synonymy with S. barbatus.
This is, no doubt, also to be continued.