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25 January 2006

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» Worlds Smallest Fish, Paedocypris progenetica from NewCritters.com
A new species of fish called Paedocypris progenetica, has been discovered in highly acidic peat swamps on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The new species belongs to the carp family and is possibly the worlds smallest vertebrate animal with fem... [Read More]

Comments

Hai~Ren

Absolutely fascinating. Saw it on the news, and it really is a pretty little thing.

I wonder how it was discovered. And I do wonder if there will ever be a bunch of aquarists daring enough to take the risks to keep this species in captivity?

Otterman

I did tell Heok you'd be fascinated!

budak

Ivan, I hear that Japanese aquarists have been keeping this fish for some time. Unfortunately, a lot of biological research published in Japan doesn't reach the non-Japanese world readily. For instance, the moss known as Java moss was clarified by Japanese bryologists to be Taxiphyllum barbieri rather than Vescicularia dubyana (as explained by Benito Tan of NUS DBS). V. dubyana turns out to be very different plant and is actually quite common locally in suitable habitats (even coconut plantations!). So I would imagine there could well be useful ethological and reproductive observations being done in Japanese journals or even aquarist publications (of which there are several) but it's not widely circulated outside the country.

Collecting fishes in peat swamps already entails using very fine mesh nets (given the abundance of tiny fishes like Boraras and Parosphremenous). From the reports, it seems the fish was initially thought to be a juvenile, until gravid females were found. I hear that it's also very fragile out of water (not surprisingly).

tscd

Did they drag the peat swamps expecting to find these tiny fish? Or was it by accident?

budak

I think it was by accident. The description paper notes that the 1 mm mesh nets used for fishing peat swamps rarely catches specimens smaller than 7 mm. And due to their size, they frequently get mistaken for fries of other species, until somebody decides to take a closer look.

slurp!

wah ... so small, i read on straits times today as well. v. interesting. if really so small, must we have aquarium with magnifying glass to fully enjoy this tiny fish huh? :)

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