Killi-Data 2000

From Jean H. Huber
Private address: 7 Bd Flandrin, 75116 Paris, France
Laboratoire d'Ichtyologie, M.N.H.N., 43 rue Cuvier, 75231 PARIS Cedex 05.
e-mail : (today inactive)
S.F.I. : Societe Francaise d'Ichtyologie (same address).

Paris, December 23., 1999.

Dear Colleague, dear Aquarist!

First of all, I wish to send my best greetings for Christmas and the New Year Y2K, to you, your family and your beloved (including the killifishes, if any) and to set here first on the Internet an… important information.

We are very pleased to let you know in priority that Killi-Data 2000 (updated : November 30. 1999) is to be published on January 1 (for the Millennium !). It takes over Killi-Data 1994 and 1996, now sold out.

Killi-Data 2000 is basically identical by its structure to these previous editions, even if it holds 30% more information. There are, though, two differences in its structure: a fourth additional language, Spanish, has been added to English, French and German (thanks to a valorous Spanish Killi-team); and a brand new chapter has been written which promotes field collections and targets priority regions and countries for the discovery of new species, or, the rediscovery of older ones that are unknown live or since long disappeared from aquariums. Therefore, buyers of previous editions may consider not to acquire Killi-Data 2000 and, for them to correct their edition, the list of new names (since 1996) at the level of the genus or species is given in appendix 1.

However, Killi-Data 2000 is extremely different from Killi-Data 1996 in terms of the actual valid names. This comes from three factors:

1- The outcome of new modern techniques, such as DNA analysis, processed by computer specific softwares (such as PAUP) or older techniques (osteology, morphology), similarly computerized. This has led lately to the single newest revision of the Cyprinodontiformes by Costa (published late December 1998), nearly 20 years after Parenti's (1981) and to a detailed revision of given groups by Costa (1998, 1999: South American annuals), by Hrbek & Larson (1999: Rivulins), by Murphy et al. (1999 published and in print: Rivulins, Fundulopanchax, ex-Roloffia), by Villwock (1999 published and in print : Aphanius, Orestias), by Wildekamp (1999 in print: Nothobranchius), by Ghedotti (1999 in print: Aplocheilichthyins), and by ourselves (1998, 1999: tropical Cyprinodonts, Epiplatys, African Aplocheilichthyins, Rivulus and its allied).

2- The fantastic waves of new collections in Central America (Etzel), South America (Costa and the Faflodul team) and East Africa (Watters, Wildekamp, Sainthouse, Coopers, Rosenstock and others) and Gabon (Eberl, Tirbak, Romer, Krummenacker and others), with new and better knowledge, as a consequence.

3- The rejection of the previously accepted concept of forgotten names, also with (few, but important) name changes as a consequence.

In total, more than one third of species names change of genus, subgenus or superspecies assignment, or are new to science. As a good example, it is worth to mention that the Brazilian Costa has described 74 taxa (species or genus) between 1988 and 1999 and is now the co-leader by far, with the German Ahl (75 taxa in 17 years). Several hundreds of new collecting localities are also reported (mainly in South America). This is incomparable. As an example, the most important name changes are listed for aquarists (new name versus old name) in appendix 2.

Some changes will no doubt hurt the aquarists' habits (and not only them). The present tendency in Systematics is clearly splitting, i.e. many genera each encompassing few species or superspecies (for example, only one big genus, Rivulus, is still un-split in Killi-Data 2000, but I anticipate that the subgenus Laimosemion, that I described lately, will soon be erected as a full genus). This is not our philosophy (although this is not a "life-threatening" issue !) and a reversal of the balance may take place in the future. However, Killi-Data is not the reflect of our philosophy, but the mirror of published evidence. And all this is based on hard data. Therefore, Killi-Data 2000 follows precisely the publications of all authors. Two exceptions must be mentioned : first, the division of the Cyprinodontiformes in two suborders and of the Aplocheilidae in two distinct families, the Aplocheilidae and the Rivulidae. This is due to the necessity of coherence with Eschmeyer's global and coherent classification (1998: Catalog of Fishes) which is accepted by most international Institutions (including MNHN). Second, the synonymization of Aphanius into Lebias by Lazara (1995), because this shift has been challenged by Kottelat (1997) and Wildekamp et al. (1999) and a petition to the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (I.C.Z.N.) is running (personally I must remain neutral).

Surely, the most frustrating case in a name change, for aquarists, is felt when an established species name moves from one genus to another, or when a subgenus is uplifted to the genus level, or when debates occur between several authors (I believe what should only matter, for aquarists, is to maintain the population name to avoid inter-sterile crossings and, if possible, the species name). Indeed, at this stage, there is a strong need that the genus concept receives a form of standardization, since it is so differently understood between various authors without a solid basis (a goal for the I.C.Z.N. ?). Until then, flexibility and tolerance are a wise attitude.

For example, the following names may be used in various options:

- Aphyosemion bualanum or Aphyosemion elberti, if you have an opinion on this debated case, or Aphyosemion bualanum (elberti) or Aphyosemion elberti (bualanum) if you have none.

- Austrolebias nigripinnis or Cynolebias nigripinnis, if you have an opinion on that change, or Austrolebias nigripinnis (Cynolebias) or Cynolebias nigripinnis (Austrolebias) if you have none ; but do not use the name in-between, as Austrolebias (Cynolebias) nigripinnis, which means that you consider Cynolebias as a subgenus of Austrolebias ! I believe that this flexibility will allow the aquarists to change names smoothly, while keeping in line with science advance, and anyhow a name reversal is not impossible in the future. A final caution for aquarists, though, is a special call on the emotional Roloffia case: whatever are the merits and the contribution to Cyprinodonts by E. Roloff, Roloffia has been declared invalid more than 25 years ago by the I.C.Z.N. and this is a binding decision to all (if you still do not agree, then use common names and not scientific names any more: e.g., Roloff's toothcarp, or whatever, for Archiaphyosemion roloffi).

Finally the sale of Killi-Data 2000 will be arranged differently. The four-languages version (538 pages) will only be sold by us at the price of 250FF per unit postage included, as a non profit venture (by credit card with number and expiry date to SFI, address above). Each single language version will be sold directly (look for the announcement!) by various Killifish Associations who have agreed by contract to transfer royalties from sales to ichthyological institutions of their country to support killifish research by young scientists. These are AKA for the USA, BKA for the UK, KCF for France, SKS for Scandinavia, SEK for Spain, AIK for Italy, APK for Portugal. Regrettably, no answer has been obtained from Australia, Holland and Japan, but this may change soon! DKG (Germany) did not agree on the venture and its members will have to pay the standard price, even (sorry) if they want only the German language. Killi-Data 2000 may well be also available on the Internet (no warrantee is given though), but this will be different from Killi-Data 1996: it will be payable (and the profits refunded to Institutions and Associations) and the selected files will not be downloadable, to protect the sales of the Killifish Associations.

Good reading.

Remember that anybody can contribute to Killi-Data: we are eagerly seeking collecting locality data (with geographical coordinates!) from the whole world.

Thank you for your support over the years.

With my kindest regards.


P.S. May I kindly remind the hobbyists that a second edition of my book (110 pp.) on tropical Cyprinodonts (1998) has just been published at 60 FF (today : 10€) including postage to the credit of S.F.I. It covers everything of what is known on these killifishes and is fairly attractive and easy to read for them.
It can be purchased by filling the ORDER form.

Appendix 1: new names since the publication of Killi-Data 1996 (herein, placed in NEW).

Appendix 2: major name changes among others (new name, first, then old name).

Archiaphyosemion guineense // Aphyosemion guineense (ex. Roloffia)

Archiaphyosemion petersi // Aphyosemion petersi (ex. Roloffia)

Callopanchax occidentalis // Aphyosemion occidentale (ex. Roloffia)

Scriptaphyosemion liberiense // Aphyosemion liberiense (ex. Roloffia)

Scriptaphyosemion geryi // Aphyosemion geryi (ex. Roloffia)

Aphyosemion batesii // Fundulopanchax batesii

Aphyosemion bualanum // Aphyosemion elberti

Aphyosemion microphtalmum // Aphyosemion escherichi

Fundulopanchax sjoestedti // Aphyosemion sjoestedti

Fundulopanchax gularis // Aphyosemion gulare

Fundulopanchax kribianus // Aphyosemion kribianum

Fundulopanchax filamentosus // Aphyosemion filamentosum

Fundulopanchax scheeli // Aphyosemion scheeli

Fundulopanchax marmoratus // Aphyosemion marmoratum

Austrolebias bellottii // Cynolebias bellottii

Austrolebias alexandri // Cynolebias alexandri

Austrolebias adloffi // Cynolebias adloffi

Megalebias elongatus // Cynolebias elongatus

Nematolebias whitei // Simpsonichthys whitei

Simpsonichthys flammeus // Cynolebias flammeus

Simpsonichthys boitonei // Cynolebias boitonei

Simpsonichthys zonatus // Cynolebias zonatus

Aphyolebias peruensis // Pterolebias peruensis

Gnatholebias hoignei // Pterolebias hoignei

Micromoema xiphophora // Pterolebias xiphophorus

Papiliolebias bitteri // Plesiolebias bitteri

Rachovia stellifer // Pituna stellifer

Aphanius danfordii // Aphanius chantrei

Foerschichthys nigeriensis // Foerschichthys flavipinnis

Poropanchax luxophthalmus // Micropanchax macrophthalmus (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Poropanchax scheeli // Micropanchax scheeli (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Poropanchax myersi // Micropanchax myersi (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Lacustricola bukobanus // Micropanchax bukobanus (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Lacustricola johnstoni // Micropanchax johnstoni (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Lacustricola pumilus // Micropanchax pumilus (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Lacustricola katangae // Micropanchax katangae (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Plataplochilus ngaensis // Procatopus ngaensis

Pantanodon stuhlmanni // Pantanodon podoxys

Rhexipanchax nimbaensis // Micropanchax nimbaensis (ex Aplocheilichthys)

Rhexipanchax schioetzi // Micropanchax schioetzi (ex Aplocheilichthys)

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