HOW

What Species Do I Have Here?

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I netted this guy in a local lake and I am not quite sure what I have here. Some say it is a Nile perch, but I think not.post-3618-0-13559700-1413764873_thumb.jp

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Looks like a nile perch or euphimism for tilapia.   FYI, nile perch is actually a different fish that grows to 40 kg or better, but tilapia were incorrectly marketed as nile perch  many years ago, so it's understandable for the confusion.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_perch

Edited by Ravnis (see edit history)

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Definitely not a Nile Perch or Tilapia.

IMO it is a female Cichlasoma bimaculatum, common name - Black Acara.

 

From Wikipedia -

It is found in freshwater canals and swamps, with a natural region spanning from the Amazon River to northeastern and northern South America. Since the 1960s it has been identified in the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in several counties of Florida as far north as Jacksonville.

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Interesting, it looks very similar to the tilapia I harvest.  The black stripes become pronounced when stressed.  How do you tell the difference?  All the pictures I've found of the acara show a black dot on the side.  Do females not have this dot? 

 

Appears they are both cichlids, so that could be the similar appearances.  The upcurve of the lip is different than acara pictures I've found, but I'm not a fish biologist.

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Hi,

 

How did you conclude the fish is only a few months old ?

Years ago back on the fish farm I had over 250 species of cichlids and have breed Black Acara that were closer to pushing 9-10inch.

 

Most / many of the markings, spots & colours on cichlids fade when they are stressed & out of the water. That is why the early biologist's like Axelrod had a difficult time identifying wild caught specimens. Many requiring a combination of; a) live individuals shipped home to be kept & photographed when non stressed & b ) anatomical physical differences being compared to existing specimens... ie: soft & hard fin ray counts & scale counts.

 

I said I thought it was Black Acara based on the 7 faded vertical bars (yes I know many cichlids have 7 bars), the faded bar of the lateral line & a clear but faded central body spot and also one on the caudal peduncle. I suggested it being female based on fin shape & length, the anal fin appears rather short & rounded apposed to pointed.

I dont see a noticeable upcurve of the bottom lip, if anything the top lip appears to be equal to / slightly longer than the bottom.

 

After saying all that and looking further at the pic, the caudal peduncle appears to be broader in ratio to body size than Black Acara. The faded yellow edge of the tail & anal fin is also not in line with Black Acara markings.

 

Cheers
Joe

Edited by Toga (see edit history)
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Hi,

 

How did you conclude the fish is only a few months old ?

I was there when this fish was netted from a local lake earlier this year. At that time it was 2-3 inches long and closely appeared to be a young blue tilapia, otherwise it would have been a fresh meal for the catfish. Being the only one of its kind in a tank of young tilapia, it became obvious it was a different species. Other than the coloration, it was territorial and did not mingle with the tilapia.

 

The FWC web page states the mature Black Acaria is "Maximum size about eight inches and weight about four ounces." Also, "Most common in shallow, stagnant, roadside ditches or similarly disturbed habitats that normally contain few other fishes; infrequent in larger canals and lakes." This fish is around 10 months old and already near 8 inches. And as I mentioned it was captured in a lake here in central Florida.

 

"Definitely not a Nile Perch or Tilapia."

 

Maybe I will be able to post a pic after some time and we'll see how this thing develops.

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Hi,

 

Ahh... OK. I didnt understand that you still had it alive, nor for that length of time in your tanks. It will be interesting to see a picture when it is more mature.
 

I should have also qualified my thoughts as to why I do not think it is a Nile Perch or Tilapia.

 

Nile Perch like Barramundi, being a solid predatory fish, have huge expansive mouth & jaw structures in ratio to head/eye size to accommodate large prey.

 

From my experience, most Tilapia and indeed most mouth brooding cichlids have larger jaw structures in ratio to the eyes and head size (compared to most other families of cichlids). Thus creating a larger bucal cavity in which to hold the eggs & fry within the mouth.

I do recognize that not all Tilapia are 100% full time mouth brooders and as such there is also a variation in jaw size, shape & proportions.

 

I did read you collected it from a lake in central Florida which brought back another memory of the commercial farming days.

In one week, whilst collecting native rainbows for brood stock in far northern Queensland, I also collected Jewel Cichlid, Tilapia Butticoferi & T.Marae (African Cichilids) an Oscar, a couple Jack Dempsey (American Cichlids) and many specimens of M.Australis who's native home waters is 5000 miles away on the other side of Oz.

 

Imo, It would be fare to say that the aquarium fish industry & hobby was/is a major contributor & responsible for such world wide problems of the wide spread of 'noxious' species.

In that same train of thought, it could also be a hobby throw away crossbreed.

 

Cheers

Joe

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Here's the latest shot of our mystery guest. As you can see it is growing nicely and is health. I notice a bit of pink on the edge of the tail and dorsal fin. So, what is it?

post-3618-0-19073200-1424633143_thumb.jp

 

This is the pic from October 2014.

post-3618-0-97324000-1424633513_thumb.jp

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Have you tried to get a biologist or prof over to get a look at it?

Seems there should be some text that should be able to key it out and narrow down the species.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis Mossambicus) or a hybrid with very heavy influence from it. Most likely a female.

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If you captured this fish in a lake. Check local fishery because many produce hybrids for fishing. My areas crosses many things especially for fishing. I will look up the exact crosses or hybrids they make but this is common practice in man made lakes . Also hybrids can happen naturally. My pond for example has crappy and brim crosses that occurred just because they are in the same body of water.

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Hi Mike,

 

It's extremely unlikely you'd see a naturally spawned crappie/blugill hybrid, for numerous reasons.  What you probably saw was a warmouth or perhaps a redear sunfish.

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 04:58 PM

"Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis Mossambicus) or a hybrid with very heavy influence from it. Most likely a female."

So stated by Kellen over 2 years ago. She does, by the way, still live in my RAS.

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Maybe wasn't a crappy brim cross but number of similar species live in pond maybe just one looks like a mixture of the two.

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Hi Mike,

 

It's extremely unlikely you'd see a naturally spawned crappie/blugill hybrid, for numerous reasons.  What you probably saw was a warmouth or perhaps a redear sunfish.

Kellan,

 

While in most cases I would agree with you, if you consider where Mike lives, anything would be possible. Due to issues from our local Tritium plant, various nuclear power facilities and pollutant causing manufacturing facilities, weird crossings and mutations do occur.

 

In my years here, I have seen with my own eyes, a three foot tall squirrel, an eight pound green sunfish and even pygmy black bears.

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Yea extreme cases have been reported in my area believed to be the direct or indirect cause of the production at the srs sites in my area. I've seen deformed frogs and heard stories of even deer in the area with irregular racks. However even without the nuclear factor closely related reptiles fish amphibians ect cross and hybrid naturally in the wild. So if you introduce related species in a smaller area (man made ponds)the likelihood of the occurrence I believe will increase.

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Kellan,

 

While in most cases I would agree with you, if you consider where Mike lives, anything would be possible. Due to issues from our local Tritium plant, various nuclear power facilities and pollutant causing manufacturing facilities, weird crossings and mutations do occur.

 

In my years here, I have seen with my own eyes, a three foot tall squirrel, an eight pound green sunfish and even pygmy black bears.

 

 

Yea extreme cases have been reported in my area believed to be the direct or indirect cause of the production at the srs sites in my area. I've seen deformed frogs and heard stories of even deer in the area with irregular racks. However even without the nuclear factor closely related reptiles fish amphibians ect cross and hybrid naturally in the wild. So if you introduce related species in a smaller area (man made ponds)the likelihood of the occurrence I believe will increase.

 

 

How do you folks stand for this poop without becoming full-time activists?  Do you imagine that it's only the deer, squirrels and the bears that are affected?  Have you counted your toes....and those of your kids?  

HOW and ande like this

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If there are problems with human population it's our own fault. I think most micro effect humans and Mother Nature will adapt. Lol however I disagree with all nuclear facilities most gmo products and waste sites. I would like a greener and cleaner place for my children.... That fish I think is a talpia or related to one 😄

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The fish of Howponic's is a settled matter.  It's a Mozambique tilapia or a hybrid with extremely strong Mozambique influence.  hehe... 

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 Have you counted your toes....and those of your kids?  

Yes Gary,

 

120 toes total for myself, the wife and kids.........  :phew:

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Maybe wasn't a crappy brim cross but number of similar species live in pond maybe just one looks like a mixture of the two.

 

I can pretty much guarantee with 100% certainty that you did not encounter a Lepomis x Pomoxis cross. :)

 

Redear Sunfish, Warmouth and Fliers look a bit like what you might imagine a crappie/bluegill cross to look like.

 

Rock bass do as well.

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