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A. sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’ were first discovered in February 2017 by MEJIA, CHRISTOFFERSEN, and VAN GENNE (Oldeberkoop, Netherlands) in a lagoon at the headwaters of the Rio Inirida.
Because of the many Moriche palms (Mauritia flexuosa) such lagoons or oases are called ‘Morichales’ by the natives. Due to the dry season, the water level was quite low and because of the lack in water exchange, there was hardly any water movement.
In this lagoon in the headwaters of the Rio Inirida,
Apistogramma sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’ have been discovered for the first time.
(Photo: Tom Christoffersen)
Adult dominant male of the ‘Kiemenfleck’-Apistogramma from the first location in the headwaters of the Rio Inirida (if not mentioned otherwise, all pictured specimens of Apistogramma sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’ are from this location). Like in many representatives of the A.-alacrina-group, not only can their body shimmer bluish or greenish, rather they often show corresponding shiny spots at the posterior end of the caudal spot as well. (Photo: Yukitoshi Ohnota)
The second collecting site of Apistogramma sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’. In this pond in the headwaters of the Rio Vaupés, besides a few specimens of the ‘Kiemenfleck’-Apistogramma, Apistogramma sp. ‘Alto Vaupés I’ have been collected too. (Photo: Tom Christoffersen)
The slightly brown yet crystal clear water was very soft and quite acidic with a pH of 5.2. The water temperature was 28-29 °C. Small groups of A. sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’ mostly stayed in shaded places near the shore or hid in between the many water plants. A layer of leaf litter, often used by Apistogramma to hide from predators, wasn’t present in this habitat. Apart from about a dozen A. sp. ‘Kiemenfleck’, no other Apistogramma were found in this lake. In the shallow areas where they were mostly found, species of other genera were collected as well, namely Copella MYERS, 1956, Pyrrhulina VALENCIENNES, 1846, Nannostomus GÜNTHER, 1872, Melanocharacidium BUCKUP, 1993, Characidium REINHARDT, 1867, Hoplias GILL, 1903 and Laimosemion HUBER, 1999. In the deeper areas, some cichlids of the genera Aequidens EIGENMANN & BRAY, 1894, Crenicichla HECKEL, 1840 and Geophagus HECKEL, 1840 were lingering.