Matt Clarke on the recently described killifish Simpsonichthys delucai.
Simpsonichthys delucai Costa, 2003
This species was discovered in 2001 in a temporary pool near the Rio Urucuia, a west bank tributary of the Rio Sao Francisco in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It was found at an altitude of almost 500m above sea level.
The type specimens measured around 2.14cm.
According to the British Killifish Association, this species is best kept in moderately soft and acidic water, with a temperature of around 20-23C.
Simpsonichthys, like most other rivulid killifishes, are not really fish for the community aquarium - they're specialist fish and are typically maintained in species tanks for the purpose of breeding. Simpsonichthys tend to be relatively shy and delicate fishes, so do appreciate low lighting and dense plant growth - Java fern and Java moss are ideal.
S. delucai is a peat spawner, so needs to have a substrate (or container) of peat to allow it to reproduce comfortably. It is best kept as a group of one male and two or three females in a small species tank. Some Simpsonichthys keepers swear by the use of "old water". Simpsonichthys fry tend to be small, and need infusoria to start them off.
This is one of many of the rivulid killifishes described by Brazilian ichthyologist Wilson Costa - we have covered the descriptions of numerous others on the Practical Fishkeeping website. The genus contains over 50 species, 39 of which have been described by Costa, making him something of an authority on the fish. Many Simpsonichthys are exquisitely patterned, with stunning finnage and beautiful colours. They're well worth considering if you have the space for a species tank.
This species was spotted for sale at Wharf Aquatics in Nottinghamshire early last year. Simpsonichthys are not common in the trade, so it seems most likely that these specimens have been bred by a BKA member.
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