Fenerbahce formosus (Huber 1979)

Fenerbahce formosus Male. Photo Courtesy of Ed Pürzl

Fenerbahce formosus Female. Photo Courtesy of Ed Pürzl

Meaning of Name

formosus = beautiful.

First Description



3 cm. The holotype measured 17·3 mm.

  • D = 8-9, A = 15, D/A = +12-14, ll = 27-29 +2 (Huber 1979)

SG 0·0%, n = 12, 12 arms & 13·7% (Scheel, BKA newsletter No.186, February 1981). Scheel considered this 'the most specialised karyotype so far disclosed among killifish of the Old World'.





  • Adamas formosus Huber 1979
  • Bokuma
  • Mbamou
  • Njiri River - (Brazzaville)
  • Nyangwa
  • Oyo
  • Tchikapika
Type Locality





Inhabits a large swampy area in the lower part of the Sangha River subdrainage which drains into the Congo River. They were collected in shallow water.

Huber reported there habitat preference to be small rivers & the edges of larger ones. They have been observed to be a schaoling sp. with up to hundreds of individuals in mid-water areas near the banks but not at the waters surface. Occupied water depth being 30-120 cm deep (dry season). Also reported from marshy streams. Sympatric sp. include Aphyoplatys duboisi, Epiplatys chevalieri, Ep.multifasciatus group members, A.splendidum & members of the A.elegans group.
Water is reported to be 'often brown & very soft'. Average water temperature in July-August were 22-26°C.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Wild fish shown from above showing
typical white head marking.

F.formosus is a less compact & deeper bodied fish than F.devosi. Upper jaw is longer.

Dorsal fin set far back down the body. Bright blue body background. General shape. No other sp.(currently known) could be confused with Adamas formosus.
On top of the head 4 scales are coloured silvery blue which form a spot.

Colour/Pattern Variability Can be quite variable even within a population as reported by Huber in BKA newsletter No. 249, May 1986. Some locations have no red spots at all & location JH 78 / 110 had no colouration of any description, being described as 'pepper & salt'.

Collected by J.H.Huber on a collecting trip to Congo Brazzaville in 1978. To describe this new sp. Huber erected a new genus which he named Adamas in 1979. Alain Dubois in an article in Zootaxa 1757: 66–68 (2008) brought to the attention that the generic name of Adamas was preoccupied by Adamas Malaise, 1945 (Hymenoptera).
Huber tried to create a new genus - Adamans but was too late as Fenerbache had already been published.

The papers produced during these discussions are interesting but probably those reading this site would perhaps not be too interested. Suffiet it to say that Adamas is now

Collected by Buytaert in 1981 on the island of Mbamou in the Zaire River.

Breeding Notes

In BKA newsletter No.196, December 1981 Ian Sainthouse gave the following info.
First attempts at breeding where problematical. Not regarded as an easy sp. to breed. Reports would suggest using very soft water at a temperature of 23-24°C. Peat fibre & peat moss should be added to the breeding tank with floating plants such as Ceratopteris which has a good root system. The fish prefer to lay there eggs in the top areas of the tank. Eggs are very small & difficult to locate.
Two methods can be used 2 weeks after the pair have started to spawn. The floating vegetation can be taken out & put into a seperate tank containing identical water or the parents can be removed.
Egg incubation in water can take up to 4 weeks although this is the exception. Feeding the newly hatched fry is the greatest challenge & the smallest infusorians should be fed for at least 14 days. Fry will tend to stay at the waters surface & dislike water movement. It is advised to keep the water level low so the fry have more chance of finding the infusorians.
After this period the fry will start to consume normal fry foods. Growth rate can be variable. After a month some fry will reach half an inch but others will only reach a quarter of an inch.
The characteristic spot on top of the head can show through at 2 weeks of age.

Montiel & Woeltjes in KCF Killi Revue sheet 65 reported them as being a semi-annual as the eggs were observed to undergo periods of diapause.
Eggs were collected & stored at 23°C & hatched after 14-16 days. It was reported that the parents will eat there own eggs & that young will eat each other in the absense of proper feeding. 90% mortality can result.
Sifted peat was used to dry store the eggs in another method & then wet after a dry incubation period of 6-12 weeks. Hatching was rapid. Fry should be given infusoria & small rotifers for the first month. Growth was reportedly slow.

Diameter of Egg Very small.

Sensitive to water pollution so regular water changes are advised.
Not regarded as aggressive.