Aquarium fishes from Caño Arabella, Part 2

The aquatic research in such a stream was like entering a different world, virgin an untouched:  there were roots from giant trees hanging in the water mainly along the right bank, which looked like being hundreds of years old.

Hypostomus cf. plecostomus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher

Not far up we saw a small creek merging at the right bank and asked Esteban to stop. I climbed with my hand net high up, to find a way to its water deeper inside the jungle as at its mouth the access was impossible. When I found between the high primary rainforest trees the creek, I had to climb about eight metres down as it had dried up, which was excellent as all species were concentrated in the remaining small body of water.

Hemigrammus megaceps, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Hemigrammus megaceps, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Moenkhausia intermedia, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Moenkhausia intermedia, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Hyphessobrycon loretoensis, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

I collected here also what could be a second Hemigrammus species with yellow in the tail instead of the colours of the former. In addition Tetragonopterus chalceus and two Carnegiella species, Hyphessobrycon loretoensis (much more colourful than the described one), an unidentified Elachocharax species, Oxyropsis carinata and Otocinclus species.

Bryconella pallidifrons, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Bryconella pallidifrons, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Aphyocharax alburnus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Aphyocharax alburnus, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Carnegiella myersi, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Carnegiella myersi, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Carnegiella strigata, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Carnegiella strigata, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Otocinclus macrospilus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Otocinclus macrospilus, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Oxyropsis carinata, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Oxyropsis carinata, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

And definitely a new Corydoras species with a bright black oval pre-caudal peduncle spot surrounded by iridescent golden colours (Corydoras leopardus). And together with this beautiful Corydoras was one that is similar to Corydoras trillineatus (my Corydoras sp. 1).

Corydoras sp., Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Corydoras sp., top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Corydoras leopardus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Corydoras leopardus, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Corydoras elegans, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Corydoras elegans, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

There were also other fishes, the list being very long. We had collected very early in the morning and the water parameters at 6:15 were: pH 5.75; conductivity 17 µS/cm; temperature 26.4° C and it was clear water. No aquatic vegetation whatsoever, only lots of leafs and driftwood.

Pyrrhulina eleanorae, male, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Pyrrhulina eleanorae, top view, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Tetragonopterus chalceus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Tetragonopterus chalceus, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Characidium steindachneri, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Characidium steindachneri, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Charax tectifer, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Charax tectifer, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Hyphessobrycon bentosi, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Hyphessobrycon bentosi, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Anablepsoides iridescens, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Anablepsoides iridescens, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

This was my collecting spot 07 and the following was approximately two hours further up the Arabella, which was in many places un-passable. One could notice that no boat had ever entered this river as we had to remove hundreds of ancient logs and fallen in leaf-less trees. It was a real jungle adventure.

Crenicara punctulata, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Crenicara punctulata, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Heros efasciatus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Heros efasciatus, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Aequidens tetramerus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Aequidens tetramerus, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Satanoperca jurupari, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Satanoperca jurupari, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

And when we reached the Capivara, there was no further go. The water level was so shallow that the boat could not enter and also there were literally hundreds of trees laying in it, not more than 20 to 50 cm apart.

Farlowella nattereri, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Farlowella nattereri, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Bunocephalus coracoideus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Bunocephalus coracoideus, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Callichthys callichthys, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Callichthys callichthys, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Heiko Bleher, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, collected in the Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

And when we reached the Capivara, there was no further go. The water level was so shallow that the boat could not enter and also there were literally hundreds of trees laying in it, not more than 20 to 50 cm apart.

Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Photographing fishes in Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

Here over sandy ground with Cyperus growing along the edges and Calathea loeseneri in more shady area, where rainforest trees made enough shade, we found different species. There was a beautiful Pimelodus with golden 3-4 stripes Farlowella, another Otocinclus and Peckoltia species and a third Corydoras species, which certainly belongs to the Corydoras elegans-group (see above).

Hoplias malabaricus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Hoplias malabaricus, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Moenkhausia naponis, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Moenkhausia naponis, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Moenkhausia oligolepis, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Moenkhausia oligolepis, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Leporinus moralesi, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Leporinus moralesi, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Boulengerella maculata, juvenile, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Boulengerella maculata, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Chalceus erythrurus, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Chalceus erythrurus, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

And next to us came Stefen with a very large Serrasalmus immaculatus, as well as smaller Serrasalmus species ashore (see Aquarium fishes from Caño Arabella, Part 1), and he had a Ageneiosus cf. magoi on the hook. Again enough for diner.

Apistogramma allpahuayo, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Apistogramma allpahuayo, male, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Apistogramma allpahuayo, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Apistogramma allpahuayo, female, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Apistogramma agassizii, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Apistogramma agassizii, male, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.
Apistogramma agassizii, Cano Arabella, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Apistogramma agassizii, female, Caño Arabella, Rio Yavari.

I was able to research in 19 different rivers, creeks and lake area and have recorded in 3 days and nights in this untouched and never before aquatic-wise collected area 152 different fish species, of which 50 seem to be new to science and the hobby. Definitely the new Hemigrammus, Moenkhausia, Pyrrhulina, Aequidens and fantastic Apistogramma and Corydoras species can and will bring joy to many, as long as the aquarium is biotope correct decorated and the fishes placed know each other.

Rio Yavari, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Rio Yavari, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher
Rio Yavari, Peru.

After almost 9 days and 1850 river kilometres we reached back to Leticia having recorded an amazing flora and fauna above and below water – including the rare and smallest crocodile on earth the Babo morichalero, Paleosuchus palpebrosus – having heard and seen jaguar traces (so some still exist), 2-3 monkey herds jumping along the rivers edges in the trees and endless herds of capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), the largest extant rodent in the world, and naturally crossing this remote still existing paradise of birds paradise. This will stay unforgettable and I hope that future generations can still appreciate it.

Rio Yavari, Peru. ©BAP, photo B. Bleher