General requirements for a grant

To be eligible as a candidate for a collecting trip grant, you need to be either an experienced killifish collector who accepts to take with him/her a young killi-aquarist for his first collecting trip, OR, a young killi-aquarist for his first collecting trip who joins a collecting party with experienced killifish collectors.
No other conditions.
Notably no obligation to fit with the listed priorities, below (even if priority or listed targets will be favored because possible success will bring additional major value added to killifish research).

Herafter is a list of 14 targets [last update : July 20. 2016] of collections that are highlighted by K-D-I because they correspond to systematic, nomenclatural needs or to species for which there are basic needs that need to be fulfilled (e.g., unknown live pattern), the first 3 being prioritized according to K-D-I 2015 AGM decision.
To comply with that list is not compulsory (but good candidates will be favored).
For each target, are given (1) the name of the species, (2) the place to go (usually the type locality), (3) the itinerary map from a large city with an airport as a starting point, (4) the hypothetical political and operational risks (either, standard -safe, but there are no collecting with zero risk-, or unsafe, i.e., with high, or very high risks -then check before the political situation, before anything.
Please read the usual minimum key success factors (KSF) before starting to plan (or dream !)… the targeted species may be annual, then new constraints may arise (cf. COLLECTIONPERIODS).


General considerations on targets

Killi-Data are quite often asked for advices on where to go collecting killifish with possibly rewarding results i.e., finding new species and/or resolving taxonomic pending issues/problems… and without risks.
Well, the answer is not easy and may fluctuate according to (hopefully) temporary adverse political conditions and it is obviously not the objective of Killi-Data to push you to risky adventures, and the following advices will be always weighted by security issues (Killi-Data cannot take any responsibility following your decision, i.e., a decision at your own risk… watch out the update date above).
In general terms, there are few countries that are virgin of previous collections by your fellow aquarists (let's acknowledge their major contributions… many many new species have been discovered by aquarists (and sometimes described after their names), but let's focus on those potentially profitable targets ; they are of 2 types, first large flooded countries still poorly prospected, with many new (cryptic) species yet to be disclosed (and here on top of the line come the huge Amazon basin in Brasil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, rather safe presently and the huge Congo basin in Centrafrique, Congo -or RPC- and Zaïre -or RDC-,rather unsafe presently, at least in its eastern and southeastern parts), second rich-in-speciation countries that have been strongly sampled but surprises and new roads are candidates for good and lucky harvesting, i.e. Gabon, Cameroun, regions around Fouta-Djalon, Tanzania-Kenya inland, Rift-Valley lakes regions, central Brasil, western Colombia, regions at Andean foothills in Ecuador, Peru (who could seriously imagine the new recent discoveries in Gabon such as the lampeye Aapticheilichthys websteri on the coast or the relict Aphyosemion sp. from central mountains ? who is not dreaming of a new Fundulopanchax from western Gabon or even coastal Congo or Angola ? who would dare to state that nothing new is remaining in eastern Africa while the molecular link between 2 major groups of Nothobranchius is missing in the North of the distribution ?, who would deny that several hundreds of kilometers in-between the 2 annual groups Rachovia and Millerichtys without sampling near the eastern central American coast is not worth a little bit of collecting sweat and fortune or misfortune ? who would neglect the western Paraguay and Bolivia enigma especially their hilly surroundings today (near Andean foothills) while so many new species have been unexpectedly recorded in those small countries in recent years ?).

Oh yes, of course, it is going to be more difficult than when in the 1960ies and 1970ies Roloff, Clausen, Scheel, Radda, Buytaert, Wachters, Grell, Schmitt, or Huber, and others, were collecting in totally virgin countries, but for your life's memory and emotions you need not to catch a dozen of new species, just one that has something special, and you'll keep that magic event in your own tiny secret garden of reward all your life !
Now let's go on critically prioritized targets (beware, no conservation issue in the list, just systematic-nomenclatural major issues, beware that because science is moving quickly some targets on this list may have been fulfilled when you read it and check first by contacting the editor)… for the first 3 selections, they are listed according to the priority given by K-D-I members (after all, this is their membership fees that allow the grants that you will receive) and they are tagged with legend alert pictogram.

Fundulopanchax powelli, unsafe and uneasy, in Nigeria [southeastern] legend

Objective : collect Fundulopanchax powelli at its type locality [N.W. Bakakodia, Nana creek, S. Nigeria, 5.672 N 5.325 E], an annual species unknown live, and new populations of Fp. obuduensis and Fp. spoorenbergi, not far ; note : this species powelli is very important to discover and study live as it may be a missing link between evolutive groups.


Cynopoecilus melanotaenia, safe and easy, in Uruguay [coastal] legend

Objective : collect Cynopoecilus aff. melanotaenia at costal border between Uruguay and southeastern Brasil, along Lago Mirim, between Chuy, in the South and Jaguarao, in the North, and also a bit more inland, like Trenta y Tres (at least 26 collecting localities are reported in Killi-Data, under that provisional name) since the identification of the Uruguayan populations is unknown : it may be melanotaenia or a cryptic new species like fulgens, intimus, multipapillatus, nigrovittatus, or, bingo !, it may be a new morphospecies like notabilis, described recentlynot far in Brasil ; in this case, catching 95% ethyl alcohol specimens is essential for the necessary subsequent molecular studies by at least Uruguayan researchers.


Epiplatys multifasciatus, Aphyosemion lujae, Aphyosemion ferranti, unsafe and uneasy, in Zaïre [Democratic Republic Congo] legend

Objective : collect Epiplatys multifasciatus, Aphyosemion lujae, Aphyosemion ferranti at type locality [Kondoué, Kasaï prov., S. Zaïre, 4.983 S 23.300 E, not far from Lusambo airport… but for unknown reasons, GoogleMaps impose a big round by road] common for 3 species, all unknown live ; note : a critical target for systematics because, if successful, it will improve considerably our knowledge of Epiplatys and of the Aplyosemion elegans group, if the last 2 species are indeed part of that group.


[fulfilled, 2015] Aphyosemion bualanum, unsafe and uneasy, in Centrafrique [Central African Republic]

Objective : collect Aphyosemion bualanum at its type locality (Bouala, 1200 m, W. Centrafrique 6.417 N 15.583 E) to certainly levy an old controversial problem as to the true identity (and color pattern) of the species, the single type-specimen being in a very bad state… is it the same fish with red bars on male sides that is known from everywhere in Cameroun, similar to exiguum, or, is it something else, unknown and related to cameronense, punctatum ? By the way it may be possible (and could be safer) to access the locality from Cameroun by road, since it is not far from boundary between the 2 countries.


Rivulus ornatus, safe and uneasy, in Amazonian Brasil

Objective : collect Rivulus ornatus at its type locality [lago Saraca at Silves, reached by road from Manaus, Amazonas state, 2.880 S, 58.350 W] will certainly levy an old problem as to the true identity (and color pattern) of the species, the single type-specimen being in a very bad state and the species is unknown live (aquarium populations from Peru with that name are probably not the same species).


Neofundulus ornatipinnis, safe and uneasy, in flooded Paraguay

Objective : collect Neofundulus ornatipinnis at its type locality [Makthlawaiya, Chaco, 23.420 S, 58.320 W], an annual species unknown live, the single type-specimen being in a very bad state which may be distinct or identical to paraguayensis, the 2 sexes of the same species (and possibly collect live topotypes of Rivulus punctatus [Colonia Risso, Paraguay, 22.350 S 57.830 W], for the first time since 1895) ; note : the 2 targets for Neofundulus ornatipinnis and Neofundulus paraguayensis, 3 with Rivulus punctatus are associated.


Neofundulus paraguayensis, safe and uneasy, in flooded Paraguay

Objective : collect Neofundulus paraguayensis at its type locality [near Arroyo Trementina, 22.783 S, 56.883 W], an annual species unknown live, the single type-specimen being in a very bad state which may be distinct or identical to ornatipinnis, the 2 sexes of the same species (and possibly collect live topotypes of Rivulus ornatus [Colonia Risso, Paraguay, 22.350 S 57.830 W], for the first time since 1895)  ; note : the 2 targets for Neofundulus ornatipinnis and Neofundulus paraguayensis, 3 with Rivulus ornatus are associated.


[fulfilled, 2016] Fundulus grandissimus, F. persimilis, safe and easy but with strict sampling conditions, in coastal Mexico

Objective : collect Fundulus grandissimus, F. persimilis at their not distant type localities [respectively Progreso, north of Merida, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, S.E. Mexico, 21.333 N 89.667 W and Rio Lagartos, herein spotted, Yucatan, S.E. Mexico, 21.583 N 88.167 W], 2 relict species unknown live, located close to Cancun airport ; notes : collecting the related F. philpisteri, also unknown live [San Ignacio, near Linares, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, 24.867 N 99.350 W], located not too far, would be very attractive, too, and in all 3 cases, catching 95% ethyl alcohol specimens is essential for the necessary subsequent molecular studies by US and Mexican researchers, but beware those 3 collections will require special permits because those species are endangered.


Kryptolebias campelloi, safe and easy, in flooded Brasil

Objective : collect Kryptolebias campelloi at its type locality [Primavera surroundings, not too far from Belem airport, N.E. Brasil, 0.930 S 47.100 W], a species unknown live, the type-specimens having been lost ; note : the annual species Moema piriana has been discovered from the same area and may be a good addition, like collecting live topotypes of Pterolebias longipinnis [Santarem, lower Amazon, N. Brasil, 2.420 S 54.730] and if too far near Belem, in order to molecularly compare them with populations from Bolivia to Argnetina.


Aphanius stiassnyae, unsafe and uneasy, in Ethiopia

Objective : collect Aphanius stiassnyae at its type locality [S.W. Lake Afdera, Ethiopia, 13.167 N 40.833 E], a strange species unknown live, living in sympatry with a population of dispar in a relict lake, like the recently described Aphanius furcatus in Iran.


Epiplatys bifasciatus, Ep. marnoi, unsafe and uneasy, in central Sudan

Objective : collect Epiplatys bifasciatus, Ep. marnoi at in-common type locality [Bahr el Seraf, Nile basin, central Sudan, 14.700 N 31.233 E], both species unknown live, the second name presently considered as a synonym of spilargyreius, but that is unlikely (due to distance and palaeo-history).


Epiplatys bifasciatus (?), unsafe and uneasy, in central Sudan

Objective : collect a population of presumably Epiplatys bifasciatus at a locality [Malakal, central Sudan, 9.520 N 31.670 E], where it has been shown as a livebearer, a putative enigma in Epiplatys.


Plataplochilus ngaensis, Aphyosemion escherichi, safe and uneasy, in N.W. Gabon

Objective : collect Plataplochilus ngaensis, Aphyosemion escherichi at in-common type locality [East Atogondema, Nduya river, 0.850 N 10.250 E], both species unknown live, but the road of the early 19th century is apparently missing ; note : both species are very important in terms of systematics, the former to clear up the Plataplochilus enigma, the latter to clear up synonymies in striatum-microphtalmum group.


Rivulus corpulentus, unsafe and uneasy, in Colombia

Objective : collect Rivulus corpulentus at its type locality [West Cordillera La Macarena, Meta, E. Colombia, 2.417 N 73.867 W], a morphospecies unknown live that may give important information on Rivulus phylogeny and ancestry.



That's today's end of the list of critical collections for killifish research. That list will be regularly updated (why not your own targets as researcher, if something has been forgotten… like research, that list will never be ended !