Pro refers to the latin before. Nothobranchius
is an east African genera. When an 'ensis' is placed on a sp. naming
it generally refers to a point of origin. In this case the Kiyawe River
in northern Nigeria.
Ahl E. 1928b.
Description of Two New Cyprinodont Fishes from
Ann & Mag. Nat. Hist. 10 (2): p600 - 602.
Males 40·5mm SL. Females have been recorded
larger than males at 47·1mm SL.
D = 13-16, A = 15-17, ll = 27-29 + 3-4.
Males n=17, females n=2
- Fundulosoma kiyawensis (Ahl
- Fundulus gambiensis
gambiensis (Svensson 1934)
- Aphyosemion seymouri
(Loiselle & Blair 1971)
seymouri aus Ghana. (After a collection by Fröhlich
- Nothobranchius gambiensis (Svensson
- Pronothobranchius kiyawensis (Ahl
- Katagoum (Northern Nigeria)
- Kondoulou (Chad)
- Maidougouri (Chad)
- Ndjamena (50km south of-Chad)
- Sangba (Chari Drainage-Central
- GH 06 / 5
The Kiyawe River in Northern
Most easterly distribution of Pronothobranchius
from Lake Chad to northern Nigeria.
Known to inhabit the river area of the Kiyawa to the north of Katagum,
northern Nigeria, & the area of the upper Gambia River.
This is a rather extensive distribution area.
Reports have suggested that material is deposited in the American Natural
History Museum being collected in the Central African Republic.
The type locality is situated on
the Accra Plains. This was a very small pool in a swampy area close
to one of many intermittent streams. These flow into small coastal lagoons.
During the dry season these are reduced to small isolated pools with
the surrounding marsh area dried out.
This area has 2 rainy seasons each year. A long period of rains from
mid-March to mid-July & a shorter period between September to November.
In 1970 the locality was a pool 100 metres long, 4 metres deep &
1·5 - 10 cm deep, densely overgrown with Nymphaea
(lilies) at it's deep end & emergent grasses at it's shallow
end. The base was loose clay 4 cm thick over a compacted sub surface.
The water was an opaque grey/green.
No data was recorded in this pool but another pool 2 km away was
recorded as pH 6·8, DH 1, surface temperature 26°C, bottom
temperature 24·5°C. These readings were taken on a cool
morning & probably below average in the 2nd half of the rainy
season which was exceptionally dry with about half a metre at the
At 14.30 hrs the temperature was a uniform 28·3°C in
8 cm of water.
Caught in rain water swamps not influenced
by the main river. They were found with Procatopus
species only. Temperature ranged from 24·5 - 31°C. Johnels
reported that this species reproduced as an annual in isolated swamps
which dry up during the dry season.
west African Nothobranchius look-alike.
Pugnacious, aggressive head. Unpaired fins have a red outer margin with
a blue submarginal band followed by a yellow band inside this. Few spots
Photographs are rare of other populations to offer any comparison between
them. I hope to load any new material as I receive it. The above pattern
may not hold as a constant reference with regard to future material.
||Unknown due to insufficient
material from which to study.
With recent (2001) imports from an unknown source which were quite colourful
I still would not like to say how variable this sp. is.
Ahl described the species in 1928 from one male
& one female collected in the Kiyawa River by Lt. Lloyd near Katagum,
northern Nigeria. This location is found some 125 miles east of Kano.
Collected by Lloyd in 1930 on the Bergoz Road near to Koundoul.
Collected 18th October 1956 by Blache et al Fort Foureau, Chad &
Maidougouri 25km from Fort Foureau.
In 1969 Radda made a very vague description proposing a sub-genus of
Pronothobranchius of the genus Nothobranchius
& placed within it Pro.kiyawensis &
the later synonymised N.gambiensis.
In 1974 Scheel placed this sp. in Nothobranchius
in the sub-genus Fundulosoma. In
the years following Fundulosoma
was regarded as a full genus however with one representative - thierryi.
Rob Odijk collected this
sp. at the end of May 1982 at several locations between Accra &
Ada, lying on the right bank of the Volta River. (See DATZ July, 1983,
Collected by A.Antoine in 1988 in a small stream at Mandjekene, Chari
River, Lake Chad drainage.
sp. was imported into Germany in 2001 & found there way to the UK
There seems to have been
a great hole in imports of this sp. from the wild. The next import I
could find information on was in 1998/1999 where a German killie keeper
The first breeding report for this sp. appeared
in BKA newsletter No.49, September 1969. They were reportedly spawned
on a layer of submerged peat. They were not seen to bury their eggs.
Water used for breeding was pH 6·6, 'trace hardness', temperature
Another report in newsletter No.51, November 1969 regarded hatching
eggs. The breeder noticed one fry eyed up & trying to get out of
the egg after 37 days of incubation. He wet the peat & the fry,
measuring three eigths of an inch emerged. Four other fry emerged with
a further one trapped by the head in the shell. All fry lay at the base
of the tank & ignored brine shrimp. Despite their size all fry were
lost within 48 hours.
In newsletter No.52, December 1969 a further report on breeding observations
appeared. Scheel reported using water incubation successfully &
hatched out a small number of fry after 6 weeks of incubation.
Another breeder reported using dry incubation varying from 9 weeks to
Another breeder reported the fry 'small enough to require infusorians
& stated that even after 5 months many eggs failed to hatch. The
concensus of opinion seemed to favour between 9-12 weeks of dry incubation.
Breeders reported finding eggs just below the surface of the peat but
the majority were well buried.
Roloff gave an account in TFH January 1974 where he reported receiving
a shipment from Blair in 1970. All fish were sick with bloody boils
on the flanks apart from one pair which were healthier. This pair was
selected as brood stock but all others died.
40 eggs were laid in a 2 week period before both fish died.. Eggs were
kept in water at 75°F. Six fry hatched which were all belly sliders.
No data is recorded as to what age in water they hatched at.
Breeding data : water temperature 73 - 78°F, pH 6·5 - 7·5,
DH 8. Eggs maintained at 75°F.
Despite every effort these sliders only
grew to 1" in the biggest case with most being considerably smaller.
At 3 & a half months the fish were set up in a breeding tank with
2" of water over a peat base. Three such spawnings resulted in
20 fry which were healthy & grew to the size of the original import.
There were only 3 females in this brood stock.
Pairs were put into seperate breeding tanks at 4 months of age &
kept together for 1-2 days before being seperated. This was repeated
on a weekly cycle.
Peat was dried for 4 weeks & fry removed with an eyedropper. After
1 day the peat was redried & rewetted in 1 week intervals.
21 spawnings were recorded which produced few fry (12) in an interval
of 4-9 weeks. In 3 cases only 1-2 fry hatched at 11 weeks.
This 4 week incubation was considered unsuccessful & a future experiment
of 6-7 weeks proved the most successful.
None of these fish exceeded 7 months of age.
On a trip to Liberia all his stock was distributed to experienced killie
keepers but after 6 months none survived.
Walter Kessel gave a breeding account in JAKA Vol.9 No.12 reprinted
from a DKG journal where he used a peat based tank, water temperature
72-74°F, pH 6·4 - 7, GH 5 - 15. He found that 90% of eggs
were infertile. Eggs were taken out after 3 days of laying but this
had no effect in getting better eggs.
Roloff suggested a dry incubation period of 6-7 weeks whilst Morgner
tried 8-10 weeks & hatched 28 fry, 18 of which were belly sliders.
The peat was rewet after 10 days which yielded a further 5 fry, 3 of
which were belly sliders. These could not be raised. The peat was redried
to a total dry incubation period of 6 months but all eggs turned white
with no noticeable development.
One breeder we know has kept eggs in dry
storage for 30+ years & has hatched good fry in small batches.
Hans van Es reported variable hatching dates from 3 - 7 months. Generally
eggs should be inspected regularly as hatchings can occur from 4 weeks
to 2 years+.
Hans van Es in BKA Newsletter No.330, March 1993
commented that they are a shy fish & will die if kept with other
sp. Also shock is easily induced by outside tank movement or the addition
of a net to the tank. Fish will 'play dead' & recover within an
It was reported that young fish are better to transport to other breeders.
2 photos of interest.
JAKA Vol.8 No.1. Winter 1971-72
JAKA Vol.9 No.12. December 1976
TFH. January 1974