Pronothobranchius seymouri (Loiselle & Blair 1971)

German Import 2001? distributed in Europe.
Photo courtesy of Alan Green.

Meaning of Name

Pro refers to the latin before. Nothobranchius is an east African genera. After E.J.(Ted) Seymour.

First Description

Loiselle, Paul V. & Blair, David 1971.

A New Species of Aphyosemion (Teleostomi: Cyprinodontidae: Rivulinae) From Ghana, and a Redefinition of Subgenus Fundulopanchax Myers, 1924.

JAKA Vol.8 No.1, Winter 1971 / 72.


Males 34mm SL, females 36·7mm SL.


D = 14-17, A = 15-18, ll = 29-31.


Males n=9, females n=2.





  • Aphyosemion BKA U1
  • Aphyosemion seymouri (Loiselle & Blair 1971)
  • Kasseh GHALOZ 03 / 16
  • U1


Pronothobranchius seymouri. Photographed in 1975 from fish received from the German Democratic Republic.
Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl


German Import 2001? 2 males.
Photo courtesy of Alan Green.

German Import 2001? distributed in Europe.
Photo courtesy of Alan Green.

Female of the German import 2001. This is notably different to the 1968 import being noticeably spotted on the body.
Photo courtesy of Alan Green

BKA Import - The BKA imported 2 shipments. The first on 28th June 1970 from David Blair was distributed as Aphyosemion BKA U1, collected 55 miles east of Accra. Fish arrived in poor condition with anchor worm & parasitic infection. All fish were lost but some breeders managed to get enough eggs to carry them on. Males were very aggressive to each other.
Some fish were sent to Scheel who considered they should be placed in Aphyosemion on the basis of cephalic squamation of egg type.
The 2nd import came on the 10th July 1970, probably collected to the west of Niamey, the capital of Niger.
In 1970 readings were not taken from the collecting site which was 100 metres long, 4 metres wide & 1·5-10 cms deep. Another area 2 kms away was measured at water temperature (surface) 26°C (bottom) 24·5°C, pH 6·8, DH 1. Taken on a cool morning. Water temperature at 14.30 hrs was a uniform 28·3°C in 8 cm of water.

Pronothobranchius seymouri from a BKA import,
      Photo: Bob Heap. BKA photo from an I/P dated 1972.

Pronothobranchius seymouri BKA import 1969/70 (formerly Aphyosemion BKA U1)
BKA Photo

Type Locality

Collected 55 miles southeast of Accra on the Accra - Ada road.


Restricted to Volta River drainage.
Reports have suggested that material is deposited in the American Natural History Museum being collected in the Central African Republic.


The paper describing A.seymouri gives details of other aquatic organisms present in the biotope including water striders, water scorpions, dragonfly & mayfly(?) larvae, 'giant water bugs' & several sp. of diving beetle some of which were notably predatory on fish. No mosquito larvae were found in these pools.
In August 1970 isolated pools in this area were checked out & mosquito larvae were present but no A.seymouri (P.kiyawensis).
Stomach contents of 6 individuals contained a large part of Cladocereans, small hemipterans & adult dipterans.
Large dragonfly & predatory diving beetle sp. were observed to attack fish in a collection seine.
Ghana sp. known to be sympatric include Petersius intermedius (Characin), Barbus macrops (young), Barbus atakorensis (young), Barbus leonensis (young), Hemichromis bimaculatus, Tilapia guineensis, Tilapia melanotheron (young & adults).
Also collected in an intermediate stream in the Shai Hills, 30 miles north of Accra on the Accra - Akosombo road.

Distribution of this Accra collection would appear to be concentrated to the west of the Densu River. To the east the Volta River. South by the coast & north by the Shai Hills.
David Blair in 1970 & John Hughes from 1969 onwards have searched for this sp. in the area of Katagum, Northern Nigeria but have failed to find it.

Distinguishing Characteristics This species is more heavily spotted than others in the genus. Probably the most commonly seen in the hobby although they are hard to find.
Colour/Pattern Variability Unknown due to insufficient material from which to study.

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.

In 1970 this sp. was collected to the west of Niamey, the capital of Niger.
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

Odyk collected in May 1982 & Rosenstock in November 2006 on the Accra Plains.

Pinto collected in 2009 on the Juapong road north of Akosombo.

Breeding Notes

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 68-73°F.
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 6 months.
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+.

Diameter of Egg 2 mm. Eggs from the original 1968 import to the BKA were reported as being 'clear, pale yellow'.
Eggs I bred from the 2001 German import were red. These being laid in sand with no peat present.
1· 2mm (Hans van Es - BKA No.330). Egg colour reported as 'yellowish'. 'Once developed they turn very light'.