Sub tropical aquarium fish species

Second Fish Sub-Species Discovered in Two Months in Fujairah UAE

Only two months following the discovery of the blind cave fish (Garra barreimiae) at Wadi Al Wurayah Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa has snared another fish sub-species discovery: The New Emirati or Wadi Al Wurayah Tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi Khalaf, 2009.

A new subspecies of Mozambique Tilapia of the genus Oreochromis (Pisces: Cichlidae) from Wadi Al Wurayah pools, Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates is described.

This new subspecies is distinguished from the subspecies Oreochromis mossambicus mossambicus living in Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates, by its distinctive body colouration and the smaller size.

It is morphologically and geographically distinct from the subspecies Oreochromis mossambicus mossambicus. The new subspecies was named Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi Khalaf, 2009.

Let zoologist, ecologist, geologist, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa, tell the story of this discovery:

Introduction:
During two field trips to Wadi Al Wurayah, the U.A.E.’s first mountain protected area, located in Al Hajar Mountains, Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, on Saturday the 8th August 2009 and Saturday the 15th August 2009, accompanied with my wife Ola and my daughter Nora, I inspected Wadi Al Wurayah pools and waterfall, and after diving in the circa 6 meter deep pool, I saw many Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus ssp.) swimming in the pool waters. These fish were observed, examined, measured and photographed.

Description and Distinctive Features:
After examining Oreochromis mossambicus from the pools of Wadi Al Wurayah, I began comparing with the subspecies Oreochromis mossambicus mossambicus living in Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates. The Wadi Al Wurayah new subspecies Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi Khalaf, 2009, have a smaller size.


The specimens measured were between 25–30 centimeters. The general body colouration is olive, yellowish to blue-gray with a silvery iridescence. The belly is lighter and may have reddish overtones. The tail fin is with spots. The tail and dorsal fins are edged with red and the pectoral fins are red. At spawning times, the throat of the male is silver-white, while the rest of the body darkens. There are three unclear spots in a horizontal row on the flanks, and six or seven unclear vertical bands on the body. Males are often with an enlarged mouth and a concave head profile. The colour of eyes varies from yellow to dark brown. Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi have 16 to 20 gill rakers.

Distribution:
The original habitat of Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters, 1852) is the Limpopo River, Mozambique, East Africa. They have been introduced to various tropical and subtropical waters all over the world. In the Arabian Peninsula, it lives in Saudi Arabia, Oman and the Emirates. The new subspecies Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi is endemic to Wadi Al Wurayah pools, Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Diet:
The Wadi Al Wurayah Tilapias are omnivores that consume detrital material, vegetation with various ranges from diatoms to macro-algae to rooted plants, invertebrates, and small fry.


Voyageur Press (MN) Popular Guide to Tropical Cichlids
Book (Voyageur Press (MN))

That's the usual (imprecise) definition of

by captain_calculus

A species. Lots of different species of tropical fish don't cross breed in nature, but will in an aquarium.
"Species" or "kind" is a human term of classification which has no precise objective meaning.
By this definition, however, Great Dane and Chihuahuas belong to different species.

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