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A few pics of Bullies


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UTTER DROOL!!! :hail::hail:

The south island ones are so beautiful! I would love to have some (requires MAF and DOC permission to move them across the Strait, sigh)

How big are they?

The top photo is definitely a female.

If you are interested and vaguely scientifically-minded I can send you an interesting paper that found there were very distinct haplotypes (genetic groups) of upland bullies in different parts of the country. It is likely that there might be genetic subspecies or cryptic species here. Makes sense given that they are non-diadromous.

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Yes please, that would be ace!

I've had a couple of escapees :/ Left the lid off one night and lost 2 small males and a female, got home today and one had jumped through the mesh! An 8cm(ish) male. He's not doing so good, so I've put him in my plant tank to see if he'll recover. So now I've got a new lid :)

For the ones that are still there, 10-12cm for the biggest 2, one is quite dark and the other light, both males, and a couple of 5cm females. I'm not really too sure about the head count at the mo. New tank is coming along nicely so I'll be able to get a good look when I do the big change-over. The river I got them from was absolutely teaming with them, definitely some big fat breeding stock there.

Something I've been meaning to ask... What kind of max, min water depths do Bullies live in?

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Whats with the 645px thing? What a random value. How come I can't post these?

Solved :)



When the sun sets they come out and hang around in the last of the sunlight, I tried to get some shots tonight but this is the best they would give me! Their eyes get this amazing blue sheen in the right light. I'm sure I'll capture it eventually!

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Extensive genetic differentiation in Gobiomorphus breviceps from New Zealand


Partial mitochondrial DNA sequences for parts of the cytochrome b gene and control region were obtained for 89 upland bullies Gobiomorphus breviceps from 19 catchments in New Zealand. There were two highly distinctive mtDNA clades: a northern clade corresponding to the North Island, northern South Island and west coast South Island, and a south‐east clade, in the southern and eastern South Island. Within these major clades there were further distinct clades that correlated with geographic sub‐regions and catchments. The marked genetic differentiation has occurred in the absence of obvious morphological divergence. Based on cytochrome b sequence divergences and the molecular clock hypothesis, the northern and southeastern clades correspond with the uplift of the Southern Alps during the Pliocene, while populations in the North Island and northern South Island were estimated to have diverged during the Pleistocene. The widescale geographic divergences were similar to those observed in the galaxiids, Galaxias vulgaris and Galaxias divergens, but biogeographic management boundaries may not be the same, reflecting different evolutionary histories for non‐diadromous species occupying the same areas.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/jour ... 6/abstract

Mitochondrial DNA reveals monophyly of New Zealand's Gobiomorphus (Teleostei: Eleotridae) amongst a morphological complex


Goal: To examine the phylogenetic relationships within Gobiomorphus to explore Australasian biogeography, origins (single or multiple), and evolutionary loss of a marine life stage (loss of diadromy). Methods: We analyse a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA (Cyt-b) using phylogenetic analyses, and use several meristics (spines, rays, and vertebrae) in a discriminant function analysis. Organisms: All nine species of the genus Gobiomorphus (Eleotridae) found in New Zealand and Australia, with the two Australian Philypnodon species included as outgroup taxa. Conclusions: Monophyly of the genus and all seven New Zealand species was strongly supported. The New Zealand Gobiomorphus are likely to be the result of a single introduction and to have been isolated from Australia since the Miocene or Pliocene ( similar to 18-28 Myr ago). These dates correspond well to the oldest fossil in New Zealand dated at 16-20 Myr. Diadromy was consistently at the root of the New Zealand group, and non-diadromy and morphological diversification among these species appears to have occurred relatively recently, with meristic comparisons supporting the molecular analyses. However, among the non-diadromous forms, species morphology contrasts with the molecular data suggesting a recent evolutionary history driven by ecological selection.

http://md1.csa.com/partners/viewrecord. ... cookie=yes

If you cannot access the .pdf (and the abstract has not completely scared you off) email me and I will send you the files. I had to read them with dictionary.com and wikipedia open in tabs to be able to follow it, but it is really interesting stuff!

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How is your escapee male doing now? Bullies in my experience are rarely deliberate escapees (unlike koaro and other climbers) but escape as a side-effect of shooting up and down the sides of the tank. Bullies are typically not good climbers so they haven't needed to evolve permeable skin and other adaptation for surviving for longer periods in the air.

Wow, 10-12cm! I think the largest I have seen for an upland is 6. I avoid taking bullies larger than about 6cm as they can have a harder time adjusting to captivity and can stress to death or go fluffy quickly. The cold may have worked in your favour (and general luck: not all large fish have a hard time)

Hmmm, water depths... Check out the simple graphs in this paper:

Habitat preferences of common, riverine New Zealand native fishes and implications for flow management

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/conten ... a920490959

It includes eight different native fish, including upland bullies, and looks at preferences of substrate size, depth and velocity. *However* remember that everything is SERIOUSLY averaged out. The three variables are massively averaged to give a single size/depth/velocity for a site, and then the graph curves are probably hiding a huge blur of datapoints - the variation or error bars on these graphs would probably be HUGE. Don't take it as gospel, but a general trend. Really interesting though.

The blue sheen to the eyes is interesting eh! I wonder if it is similar to the relective tapetum lucidum in nocturnal mammals (eg cats). It can lead to some funky effects!

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Wow, I'll have a crack at those for sure, thanx

I'll go see who's awake and see if i can get some good scaled shots, maybe I'm over estimating... Big male is alive but I think he might be a bit... funny now, I have seen him swimming funny, kind of to one side, but I've also seen him swimming normal :/ He was eating and being bossy today so I think he is happy.

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Great articles Stella

Thank you

Are you sugesting that the blue sheen may be linked to the pressence of more cone cells in the eyes than rod cells to help differentiate between light wave lenghts in low light and gloomy envionments ( or which ever way around it is) or that the blue sheen comes from a cell that emits a faint biolumenesence so that the eye works more in the style of an IR camera and can capture movment in near dark conditions?

Great photos CodKing

Nice fish arent they.


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Are you suggesting that the blue sheen may be linked to the presence of more cone cells in the eyes than rod cells to help differentiate between light wave lengths in low light and gloomy environments ( or which ever way around it is) or that the blue sheen comes from a cell that emits a faint biolumenesence so that the eye works more in the style of an IR camera and can capture movement in near dark conditions?

Eep! No idea about that stuff....

The tapetum lucidum is a reflective membranes(?) behind the photosensitive rods and cones on the retina. The light passes through the rods and cones then gets reflected by the TL back through the rods and cones. The point is in low light (eg night), the reflection of light amplifies the amount of light hitting the photosensitive cells.

Just did a quick google and the TL does exist in various fish.

Cone cells are the ones are the ones that are more common in nocturnal animals. Less colour-sensitive but more light sensitive.


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I'm back!

Those abstracts are heaps :) They just gave me more questions! I've got so many papers I need to be reading atm, I should really be reading those :P

I managed to get some measurements on the fish, and I was miles off! (I'm gonna be such a good field researcher :o ) 2 of the males are pushing past 8cm and the other two are just over 7. The female must be about 4 or 5. I've seperated them as the big lads were dominating all the good spots and I think the silver lining of the lost fish is that everyone seems a bit more relaxed, but this might be due to the, wild-fish meets rectangular-aquarium stage concluding. The setup now is a 30L tank with Big and small male and a 45L with 2 males and the female. Female gets her own place tomorrow evening! I think the tanks are small but they have a good network of holes to hide in, any input on this would be good. Maybe even a new thread..?

Native photos are a bit lacking, only got time for a couple of rounds and out of that only 1 was good, and really only anygood if it's high resolution :/

Did finish my tropical setup though, and have a few pics coming to an appropriate thread soon :)

That 'eye colouring' thing... The sheen is when low angle light of some kind goes through the clear layer on the outside (whatever its called) as the shot I had framed up was looking down the fishes back, i.e., from tail to head and the light source was in front of him but out of frame. I think any eye would do it in the right angle of light. I think I got a shot of a frog with a good example, if I find it I'll post it :)

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