Fundulosoma thierryi Ahl 1924

F.thierryi Mali. Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Meaning of Name

After Thierry

First Description

Fundulosoma thierryi Ahl 1924



  • D = 11-12, A = 14-16, ll = 26-27 Ahl 1924
  • D = 12-16, A = 14-19, ll = 27-29 Daget 1954






  • 'Small Aphyosemion from Ghana' Meinken 1960
  • 'Ghana Killifish' La Corte & de Looze 1961
  • 'Ghana Aphyosemion' After Radda's notes in BKA newsletter No.97, September 1973
  • Accra
  • Ada - GH 06 / 5
  • Atékopoé
  • Ghana 94 / 1 (GH 94 / 1 )
  • Kluge's Strain (1959-60)
  • K'palimé - TOGO 1
  • Makalondi
  • Mali
  • Milestone 56 (BKA Import 1972)
  • Sibi
  • Sogakofe (Clausen collection)
  • RT6

GH 94 / 1 -

GH 94 / 1 taken at the 2003 BKA convention by Dick Cox.

GH 94 / 1 Ghana.
Photo courtesy of Pat Rimmer


GHAAP 06 / 2, 5, 8 & 9 - Sometimes seen as GHN 06. Collected in Volta by David Armitage & Anthony Pinto, 2006.

A photo of GHAAP 06 / 2 & 8 appears in BKA newsletter No.503, August 2007

K'palimé, Togo - 15 kms northwest of K'palimé. Collected by O.Gartner, O.Hofmann, 1985.

Togo. This is probably from the Gartner/Hofmann collection 1985.
Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.


Mali - Collected in 1982 by a German guide whilst escorting a group of tourists in Mali. This population was reportedly prone to velvet & needed the addition of salt to the water.

Milestone 56 - At the Collingham auction on September 10th 1972 a number of Scotsmen donated to the BKA a bucket containing 12 pairs collected at Milestone 56, Accra to Ade road, Accra Plain, southeast Ghana.

Photographs of Kluge's strain & Clausen's Sogakofe collection can be found in ROTOW 1 pp 421-422.

Type Locality

Mangu District of northern Togo said to be located between Kadjamba & Bogo-Moba & Panpamba to Nacjaba in the north.




Kluge's collection of 1959-60 gave the following data from a point between Takoradi & Alenda on the Tano River - water temperature 23-27°C, pH 5·7, German Hardness 1·5.

Distinguishing Characteristics A fairly small species with a large eye & narrow caudal peduncle. The caudal fin is of the flared type (similar to Fp.arnoldi). Easily seperated from Fp.arnoldi by unpaired fins which have a dark outer margin in thierryi.
Colour/Pattern Variability Fairly low.

Ahl described this sp. from 7 specimens (probably males measuring 25-30 mm, according to Scheel) collected from the Mangu District of northern Togo said to be located between Kadjamba & Bogo-Moba in the south & Panpamba & Nacjaba in the north (ROTOW 1 p 421). Scheel considered this to be in an area of dry savannah containing many temporary small river systems of the Kari-Oti-Volta drainage of northern Togo.
Ahl based his description of the seperate genus Fundulosoma on the structure of the teeth.
There has been confusion in the past with Fp.walkeri. In 1934 Pellegrin reported walkeri from Fada-N'Gourma, Upper Volta close to the type locality for thierryi. This collection was most probably thierryi. The description of walkeri was based on females whereas thierryi was based on males so a colour comparison between males was not possible.
In 1954 Daget redescribed thierryi using material collected in rice fields at Diafarabé Upper Guinea, situated on the Niger River, southwest of Mopti. An article in BKA newsletter 97, Sept.1973 by Radda stated that he called these fish A.walkeri.
Between 1959-1960 a fish described as 'Small Aphyosemion from Ghana' was introduced which was collected by Kluge 'near the road between Takoradi & Alenda, on the Tano River about 30 kms from the western end of this road' (ROTOW 1 p 422). This form was distributed to aquarists in Germany & proved a popular introduction.
Although I can find no binding article these may be the same fish which were distributed by the importer Heinrich Espe of Bremen, Germany who received this sp. in late 1959. These were propagated by Foersch, Scheel & others.

Known to have been in Holland in June 1960 (probably the first time in this country) when A.J.De.Looze received eggs from München, Germany. The June DATZ contained a small article on the sp.

Foersch observed & photographed a fish Radda referred to as 'Ghana Aphyosemion' in 1961. These were later identified as Fp.walkeri (or to be more accurate, Boulenger's Fundulus walkeri of 1911). These are almost certainly referable to 'thierryi' in modern times.
Perhaps the first introduction into the USA was by Foersch who sent eggs to Rosario LaCorte around this time. From these eggs 'several hundred fry' emerged.

Pellegrin, in 1934, also examined 10 specimens from Fada N'Gourma, Upper Volta, as Fundulus walkeri.
In BKA newsletter No.97, September 1973 Dr.A.C.Radda mentioned that this sp. had been imported into Germany from Ghana around 1963.
Clausen collected thierryi in an affluent from a swamp near Sogakofe, Lower Volta drainage. Scheel maintained a male from this collection & mentioned that it 'corresponded in most details to Kluge's strain'.
On the 28th June 1970 an import arrived in the UK from David Blair together with Pro.kiyawensis. They also arrived in another shipment on July 10th 1970, again with Pro.kiyawensis. David returned home on the 15th September with more stoc of the sp.
1982. Collected in Mali by a German guide & distributed as Mali.

Eric Bowden wrote an article on the GH 1/94 population in BKA newsletter No.374, November 1996. Fish bred at 8-10 mm in peat which was collected weekly. Storage temperature was 30°C. He commented that this species has a reputation for ceasing egg production after 10-12 weeks of age. Trying a 2nd wetting from stored peat does not seem to produce any further fry.
Eggs were stored from 2-8 weeks. The 2 week incubation was from fish bred without salt in the water. First sign of sexing out at 3 weeks where males have a slight orange shading to the anal & dorsal fins.

Breeding Notes

DATZ in June 1961 contained a reference to keeping eggs in slightly damp peat environment for 2 months.

Perhaps the first records of breeding this sp. (at least in the AKA) come from the Aquarium Journal of June 1961 where Rosario LaCorte bred them in a tank with a sand substrate. He recorded a 3 week incubation period in water. He noted that this sp. was slow to hatch, even for fully developed embryo's. He forced a hatch by adding microworm to the container.

In an article by A.J.Delooze in the above publication he mentioned a hatching where the fry were too small to take newly hatched brine shrimp. He went by motorcycle to a pond where he collected a large amount of infusoria which was taken by the fry. He had a large amount of females but noticed a male after 6 weeks.
Around this time he had eggs from Scheel.
These young grew on to form a breeding stock. He observed that they layed there eggs on the peat substrate & did not bury there eggs.

Embryo which hatched out shortly after this photo was taken.
Photo courtesy of Lorraine Overall.

A breeding report in BKA newsletter No. 224, April 1984 concerning the Mali population stated that the pair were given a 3 gallon tank. pH 7·5, DH 12, water temperature 80°F. A half inch layer of peat was added to the tank base.
It was reported that this sp. hunt for eggs as part of there diet. On collecting the peat a total of 8 eggs were found. These were incubated on wet peat at 80°F. They started to eye up at 4 weeks. On hatching the fry were 3 mm & capable of taking infusoria on hatching. Newly hatched brine shrimp was added to there diet after 2 weeks.
Eggs were also collected from the parents tank from Java moss fully eyed up.

I bred the GH 94/1 population in 2007 & found fry numerous on hatching after 3 months incubation. At one point in the incubation the peat dried out extensively & had to be moistened. It was so dry I thought nothing could survive it.
Three months into incubation I had a big hatch. I started them on Liquifry & then on to microworm which they took well. I found they searched for foods off the bottom.
Fry are very small & I would like to try out green water in future experiments.

David Armitage in BKA newsletter No.503, August 2007 reports eggs from wild fish do not rest & 3 weeks is a maximum they should be incubated or the fry will hatch emaciated or belly sliders. Water used in wetting the eggs had peat extract added to make the pH neutral (7). First males are seen to start colouring in 18-21 days & can start spawning at 28.
Next generation (F2) egg incubation period was found to extend to 8-10 weeks. First food is Paramecium.

Pete Riley in BKA newsletter No.503, August 2007 reports breeding wild GHN (GHAAP) 06 / 2 population. Two trios were set up in a 6 x 8 x 8" tank. Bare with a small sponge filter & a 3" deep tray of fine peat. One of the males proved aggressive to the other fish & was removed along with 2 of the larger females. This male went on to kill both females.
The remaining trio were fed brine shrimp & mussel & were observed to be spawning daily. No aggression in this group. After 2 weeks the peat was removed & plenty of eggs were observed. Peat was dried out on newspaper & put into 3 sealed bags, storing at 27°C. After 4 weeks the gold rim around the eye could be seen & 1 bag was wet. Within 2 hours the first fry could be seen. The following day 60 fry were observed. No belly sliders seen & they were fed on infusoria.
Fry grew quickly with first signs of sexing out at 4 weeks. The young at this stage were half an inch long. Males grew much faster than females.
Another breeder was given a bag of eggs but these turned out 100% males.

Diameter of Egg 1 mm.
Scheel in ROTOW 1 p 424 found the eggs to have a few long non adhesive filaments in one pole. They also differ from eggs of arnoldi & filamentosum by the absense of an hexagonal reticulated pattern on the membrane.

In BKA newsletter No.79, March 1972 an article appeared regarding social behaviour of this sp. (Ewing). The author found males territorial although females were not. The size of their territory was such that 15-20 males & 30-40 females could be safely maintained in a 24 x 18 x 6" deep tank. This number should be maintained & no attempt should be made to remove or add other fish.
Males can be quite aggressive & plenty of cover should be afforded the female/s.