Aphyosemion abacinum Huber 1976

Photo of form circulating in the USA in the 1980's.
Photo courtesy of Tony Terceira.

Meaning of Name

Refers to the mosaic pattern on the body

First Description

Huber J.H. 1976.

Un nouveau Killi du Gabon nord-oriental, Aphyosemion abacinum nov. spec. (Atheriniforme, Cyprinodontidé, Rivuliné).

Revue francaise de'Aquariologie 3 (3): 79-82.


30-35mm Total length.


D = 9-10, A = 10-12, D/A = 1-2/1, ll = 31-34 (Huber 1976)

D = 9-10, A = 10-12, ll = 31-33 (after Radda & Purzl 1987)



Sub-Genus Diapteron


  • Aphyosemion (Diapteron) abacinum Huber 1980
  • Diapteron abacinum Seegers 1980



  • GBB 92 / 10
  • CBG 92 / 11

Photo courtesy of Bill Shenefelt

A.abacinum Makokou. Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

CBG 92 / 11
Photo courtesy of Gunther Schmaus.

  • Malassa
  • Mayéa
  • Mékambo (north east Gabon)
Type Locality

Approximately 30 km north (north east?) of Mékambo, Ivindo Basin, north eastern Gabon.


A fairly limited distribution area on the watershed of the Djoua & Djadie Rivers in northeastern Gabon.


Appears to dislike flowing water as they are reportedly found in slow flowing - swampy brooks in rainforest. They are found close to the banks among overhanging grasses and fallen leaves from the rainforest.

Distinguishing Characteristics  
Colour/Pattern Variability Low

Discovered by Huber near Mékambo. Dr.Huber used a bicycle to travel down a track where he discovered this new sp. A male from this collection was given to Lothar Seegers to photograph. On the strength of these photos 'phenomenal prices' were being offered in the USA.
H.Heinemann & R.Lenz collected in Gabon at the end of 1979 & beginning of 1980. This was at the time of the rainy season. They were extremely fortunate to find fish which were brought back alive to Germany. At first these were thought to be A.seegersi but Huber confirmed them to be A.abacinum.

Breeding Notes

I kept this sp. in the early '80's but must confess to not doing very well with them. In fact, Diapteron sp. are not my strong point.

In 'World of Killies' by Wildekamp the author suggests a pH of 5.5 - 7.0 & soft water of 35-125 ppm. The base should be dark. Various methods can be used including picking the eggs off & putting them into a container containing tank water with a fungal inhibitor such as Acriflavine. Eggs incubated in water hatch in about 20 days.

Another method is to put the eggs on top of damp peat & wet them in 3 weeks. Alternatively the base of the tank can be made up of peat or coconut fibre which can be taken out & stored in a damp state for 3 weeks before wetting.

On hatching the fry are capable of taking newly hatched brine shrimp. Water changes of 90% are recommended for good growth rate. Sexing out occurs after 6 months.

Not a very productive sp.

Diameter of Egg  

In 1999 this sp. was seen at auctions in the UK.

Crossing experiments to date :-

  • A.abacinum x A.cyanostictum. No fertile offspring.
  • A.abacinum x A.georgiae. No fertile offspring.
  • A.abacinum x A.fulgens. Viable offspring. Males show an A.abacinum body patterning with orange bands in the caudal fin similar to A.fulgens.