Phallichthys fairweatheri

Phallichthys fairweatheri (Rosen and Bailey 1959)

Meaning of Name: Phallichthys meaning phallus or gonopodium – fairweatheri after Dr Gerald Fairweather.


First Description: Rosen & Bailey in 1959

Type Locality: Rio san Pedro de Martir, or a branch, about about 1/4 mile below Laguna de Yalac

Size: Male 35 mm females 45 mm

Common name: The Elegant widow

Behaviour: Peaceful

Populations in captivity:?

Distribution: Guatemala, Mexico & Honduras

Habitat: Found in highly vegetated waters, slowly moving streams & river banks. Predominately in marsh areas.

Distinguishing Characteristics: They have a deep but fairly narrow body.
The Males gonopodium is large and is the reason Carl Hubbs gave the genus the name Phallichthys.

Colour/Pattern Variability: The body is grey with blue overtones, there are rows of orange spots running horizontally. The fins are pale yellow and the dorsal fin has the black edge that gave the fish their first common name of ‘Merry Widows’.
Breeding Brood sizes can vary and range from 10 to 40, no need to separate the pairs as they don’t seem to predate on the fry. Females will produce fry every four weeks depending on temperature.

History: First imported into the U.K by Ivan Dibble in 1979 via a German collection.

Husbandry: Water conditions are generally a P.H. between 6.5 and 8 with a temperature range of 20C to 24C. a Planted tank is not totally necessary but will make them more comfortable and they will show better colours and behaviour.
In the wild their feeding habits consist of sifting through bottom detritus for diatoms, insects & filamentous algae, but in the aquarium they will eat flake and more than happy to feed on any available live foods.

Personal Experiences:

General Remarks:


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