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Diagnostic Description

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Diagnosis: Nothobranchius rachovii is distinguished from other species of the genus by the following combination of characters: in males, a bright colouration consisting of alternating light blue and orange-red bars on the body and fins, orange-red head, and orange subterminal and black terminal bands in the caudal fin (Ref. 85866). It can be distinguished from the other species of the subgenus Nothobranchius as follows: from N. furzeri by male colouration, higher number of dorsal fin rays, 15-17 vs. 14-15, and a lower number of scales on the mid-longitudinal series, 26-28 vs. 28-30; from N. orthonotus by male colouration, lower number of scales on the mid-longitudinal series, 26-28 vs. 28-33, and shape of the dorsal profile, convex vs. flat; and from N. kadleci by male colouration and shape of the frontal region, higher number of dorsal and anal fin rays, 15-17 vs. 13-14 and 15-17 vs. 13-14 (Ref. 85866). Females can be distinguished by the presence of a reflective light blue spot on all scales of the flanks, vs. few, irregularly dispersed light blue-green spots in N. furzeri and N. kadleci or frequent presence of brown spots on body and fins in N. orthonotus (Ref. 85866). Nothobranchius rachovii can also be distinguished from all other species of the genus by its low number of diploid chromosomes, 2n=16 (Ref. 85866).Description: A robust Nothobranchius species of medium size; snout pointed, mouth terminal, slightly directed upward; body laterally compressed and deep; dorsal profile slightly concave on head, convex from nape to end of dorsal fin; in older males more convex than in younger specimens; upper and lower profiles of caudal peduncle nearly straight (Ref. 85866). Supra-orbital squamation of G-type; frontal part of supraorbital squamation partly covered with epidermal tissue; frontal and central supraorbital neuromast systems, on top of the head, fused and forming two distinct shallow grooves; both lined with three shallow lobes at both sides of the groove; posterior cephalic neuromast systems in two curved pits (Ref. 85866). Dorsal fin rays 15-17, anal fin rays 15-18, relative position of base of first dorsal-fin ray over base of second or third anal-fin ray; pelvic fins short, not reaching origin of anal fin; pectoral fins reaching to origin of pelvic fins (Ref. 85866). Scales on the median longitudinal line 26-28 plus 2-3 on caudal fin base, most with a shallow pit in centre; transverse row of scales above pelvic fins 11-12, circumpeduncular scales 12-13 (Ref. 85866).Colouration: Live male: general body colour iridescent light blue to pale blue-green or blue- grey, variable according to population; head and throat orange, grading across operculum into light blue of body; posterior margin of scales orange-red to brown-red, giving a strong reticulated appearance; locally, scale margins are wider and merge to form chevron-shaped cross-bars, apex rearward; dorsal and anal fins pale blue to light blue-grey, distally with orange-red to red-brown spots and stripes; dorsal fin with narrow blue-white margin; caudal fin pale blue to blue-grey with orange-red to red-brown spots and bars in the basal half, followed by a brown band grading into a wide orange subterminal band; caudal fin margin black; ventral fins light blue with some small red proximal spots; pectoral fins pale translucent orange with light blue margin; iris golden with dark vertical bar (Ref. 85866). Live female: body colour olive grey-brown, frontal scales on flanks with iridescent light blue to silvery centers; all fins colourless; iris bronze to golden with dark vertical bar (Ref. 85866).
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Gert Boden
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Diseases and Parasites

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Costia Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Allan Palacio
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Diseases and Parasites

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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
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Life Cycle

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Annual fish. Matures after 12 weeks. This updates previous information from Ref. 1672.
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Morphology

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Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15 - 17; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 15 - 18
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Trophic Strategy

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Found in water-filled depressions in the floodplains of rivers; water depth is variable and decreases as the dry season progresses, eventually drying out completely (Ref. 85866). Littoral vegetation usually consists of grasses; aquatic vegetation may consis of Nymphea, Ottelia, Lagarosiphon and Utricularia species; occasionally, the swamps are used by local inhabitants to cultivate rice (Ref. 85866).
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Biology

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Found in water-filled depressions in the floodplains of rivers; water depth is variable and decreases as the dry season progresses, eventually drying out completely (Ref. 85866). Littoral vegetation usually consists of grasses; aquatic vegetation may consis of Nymphea, Ottelia, Lagarosiphon and Utricularia species; occasionally, the swamps are used by local inhabitants to cultivate rice (Ref. 85866). Very difficult to maintain in aquarium (Ref. 27139).
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Importance

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fisheries: ; aquarium: commercial
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Nothobranchius rachovii

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Nothobranchius rachovii, or the bluefin notho, is a species of freshwater annual killifish from Mozambique.[2] It can grow up to 6 cm (2.4").[3] It is popular among killifish enthusiasts, who raise them from eggs in aquaria.

Description

Aside from the typical orange and blue variant, there is Nothobranchius rachovii KNP Black, which has much darker colors, and was collected from the wild in Kruger National Park, South Africa in 1984,[4] and Nothobranchius rachovii var. Red, which has a red head with turquoise highlights.[3] The females of all varieties are more neutrally colored. This shows sexual dimorphism among these fish.

Distribution

Nothobranchius rachovii sensu stricto is found in the floodplain of the lower Zambezi and also in the floodplain of the Pungwe River.[2]

Diet

N. rachovii are benthopelagic, feeding on zooplankton and other small organisms living at the bottom of the water (benthos).

Habitat

N. rachovii are naturally found in flat plains or water depressions that dry up annually.[5] Like other benthopelagic fish, N. rachovii prefer to stay at the bottom of the water, right above the benthic zone.[6] They lay their eggs in mud as the water level decreases, which preserves them until the water returns.[7]

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Bluefin nothos mature in about twelve weeks,[8] live for up to a year or year and a half, then die at the end of the breeding season- which is why they are called “annual” killifish.[9] They are able to have offspring by burying their eggs in the river/ lake bed before their habitat dries up- they live in temporary pools dependent on rainfall. These eggs develop while buried in the mud and then hatch once the pools are refilled with water from rainfall.[10]

In the Aquarium

N. rachovii are of commercial importance, being commonly found in the pet trade. They can be housed in a 40–60 litre (10–15 gallons) aquarium. Males are aggressive toward other males of the same species.[3] They can be kept in a community tank of similar-sized peaceful freshwater tropical fish.

Naming

Nothobranchius rachovii was described by Ernst Ahl in 1926 with the type locality given as Beira, Mozambique.[11] The specific name honours the German aquarist Arthur Rachow (1884-1960), who donated a number of fish specimens to the Museum für Naturkunde.[12]

See also

https://theaquariumwiki.com/Nothobranchius_rachovii

References[7]

  1. ^ Nagy, B.; Watters, B. (2019). "Nothobranchius rachovii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T141973907A58311523. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T141973907A58311523.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2010). "Nothobranchius rachovii" in FishBase. October 2010 version.
  3. ^ a b c Mongabay – Rainbow Nothobranch. Accessed 23 January 2010.
  4. ^ Killitalk – 5 July 1998 Accessed 23 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Nothobranchius rachovii (Bluefin Nothobranch)". Seriously Fish. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  6. ^ Mauchline J and Gordon JDM (1986) "Foraging strategies of deep-sea fish"] Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 27: 227-238. Download
  7. ^ a b "The Genus Nothobranchius | American Killifish Association". aka.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  8. ^ "Nothobranchius rachovii summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  9. ^ "Rachow's Nothobranch - Killifish". www.aboutfishonline.com. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  10. ^ "Killifish - Nothos Killifish". www.fishlore.com. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  11. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Nothobranchius rachovi". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  12. ^ Christopher Scharpf; Kenneth J. Lazara (31 May 2019). "Order CYPRINODONTIFORMES: Families APLOCHEILIDAE and NOTHOBRANCHIIDAE". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
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Nothobranchius rachovii: Brief Summary

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Nothobranchius rachovii, or the bluefin notho, is a species of freshwater annual killifish from Mozambique. It can grow up to 6 cm (2.4"). It is popular among killifish enthusiasts, who raise them from eggs in aquaria.

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