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Why do I use Poecilia wingei for Endler’s Livebearer?

by TFH Magazine on February 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

By Mike Hellweg

While I have thought that Endler’s Livebearer is unique since I first received a pair from super-hobbyist Sallie Boggs in 1992, I was fine with it just being a population of P. reticulata on the edge of speciation. As there was nothing in the literature, and no such thing as the Internet as we know it today, I based this on my own side-by-side observations and the results of attempted crosses I made with both wild (from a collection on the Orinoco in central Venezuela) and domestic P. reticulata and P. picta throughout the early 1990’s.

I was as excited as all other livebearer enthusiasts when Endler’s first got a scientific name in 2005; then disappointed as most when Breden argued against Poeser’s work a couple of years later.  I read the Schores et al paper with interest, expecting them to discount P. wingei again.  But they did not.  In fact, I think (as a hobbyist!) they make a very clear case for P. wingei.

But for the sake of accuracy I must unequivocally state that I am a hobbyist, not a scientist. So I usually follow what William Eschmeyer reports in the CalAcademy Catalog of Fishes when I’m working on an article. Eschmeyer tends to be very conservative, and doesn’t jump on a new description until it has withstood peer review. In the case of P. wingei, he didn’t add that to the catalog for quite a while after the Poeser et al description in 2005. In checking the Catalog for this article, I see it’s current status (as of January 2010) is as a valid species. Based on Eschmeyer and the Schores paper, I have used P. wingei instead of P. reticulata “Endler’s” or P. sp. Endler‘s, as many hobbyists have done.

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Posted in Mike Hellweg and TFH Extras by TFH Magazine on February 19th, 2010 at 8:26 am.

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