Pseudepiplatys annulatus (Boulenger 1915)

CI 06. USA Import. Note extensions in ventral fins.
Photo courtesy of Tony Terceira.

Meaning of Name

annulatus, meaning rings. Also, generally referred to as the 'clown killie'.

First Description

Boulenger G.A 1915.

Descriptions of new freshwater fishes from Sierra Leone.

Annals & Magazine of Natural History (8) 15 (86): p 203.


3·5 cm

  • D = 7, A = 12-13, ll = 28-29 (Boulenger 1915
  • D = 8-10, A = 14-18, D/A = +11, ll = 26-29 (+2-3) (Scheel 1968)
  • D = 7, A = 13, ll = 28-29 (Radda & Pürzl 1987)

n = 25, A = 43 (Scheel 1968)




Unrelated, a group of it's own.

  • Haplochilus annulatus Boulenger 1915
  • Panchax annulatus Ahl 1924
  • Epiplatys annulatus Myers 1933
  • Aplocheilus annulatus Radda 1971
  • Epiplatys (Pseudepiplatys) annulatus Parenti 1981
  • Pseudoepiplatys annulatus Neumann 1983


  • Boffa Province Guinea
  • Brama Town
  • Cap Verga - GCLR 06 / 23
  • Conakry
  • Conakry CI 98 / 10
  • Fallaba
  • Fandié GRCH 93 / 241 (possible misprint on the number)
  • Guinea CI 4 / 93
  • Guinea CI 96
  • Kasewe Forest (southern Sierra Leone) I have seen this corrupted to 'Icasaue'
  • Kinkon
  • Kobora
  • Maboshi - SLCD 84 / 32
  • Maka
  • Monrovia (southern Liberia)
  • Njala
  • Robertsport
  • Serabatu SLCD 84/28
  • Serabu
  • Sogiyah
  • Sowoja
  • Warri CI 96
  • SLCD 84 / 4 - Petifu Junction
  • SL 93 / 55 - Petifu Bridge
  • CI 06

Commercial Shipments - A lot of introductions are made from commercial shipments, generally bought in retailers or found in importers boxes.

Wild 'Yellow' form found in commercial shipment 2000. Note colouration of dorsal & anal.

TAAG 2003 / 9

Wild male CI 4 / 93

Monrovia - Collected by Stenholt Clausen. BKA Species Import Committee brought in wild fish from this location in May 1981.


Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Monrovia Red as shown at the 2004 BKA convention.


Maboshi - Maintained in the DKG 2002 & possibly earlier. Collection SLCD 84/32 collected by Christian Cauvet & Jérôme Detienne, KCF in November 1984.

Photo courtesy of Alf Persson.


Petifu Junction SLCD 84 / 4 - Collected by Christian Cauvet & Jérôme Detienne, KCF in November 1984.

Serabatu SLCD 84 / 28 - Serabu may be a corruption. Collected by Christian Cauvet & Jérôme Detienne, KCF in November 1984.

Collected in Guineé & entered in the BKA 2002 convention show. Note the red outer margin to the anal fin.
Photo courtesy of Alan Green


Type Locality

Matca, Sierra Leone. Boulenger spells this Maka. Many localities are shown on maps with this location. The closest is at the mouth of the Moa River.

Type specimen from Matca (Boulenger 1916).


Inhabits coastal lowland areas from Guinea through Sierra Leone & into Liberia.


A varied habitat. Found in rainforest & savannah in pools, smaller streams & quieter areas of small rivers. They are found under bordering vegetation & lily pads. As they inhabit coastal areas they have also been found in slightly brackish water.

Scheel in ROTOW 1 describes their water conditions in the wild as 'rather hot, shallow, usually stagnant & probably soft & acid'.

Sympatric species include Epiplatys fasciolatus; E.barmoiensis; Callopanchax occidentalis & Scriptaphyosemion liberiense.

Distinguishing Characteristics Unmistakable, with vertical bands of chocolate & cream along the body & the unique colouration/pattern of the caudal fin.
Colour/Pattern Variability Medium. The caudal fin can be variable between populations. Unpaired fins can also be found with differing colours.

Boulenger described this species from material collected at Maka (sometimes referenced as Matca) by Thomas in 1913.

Known to have been in the hobby in 1955 & 1960.

Kretschmar, Sigrid & G.Benl sent 27 fish in 2 shipments to Roloff in 1965. It is thought all previous imports had been lost in the hobby until this import.

Clausen sent a shipment from Monrovia to Scheel around 1965.

In 1967 Clausen considered they should be seperated from Epiplatys & removed the sp. into a new genus, Pseudepiplatys.

Introduced to the BKA by Leif Christensen in the latter half of 1966. Another import followed later, being collected by Roloff in Sierra Leone. Another import was received by the BKA on 7th February 1973.
An import by BKA Species Import arrived in the UK in June 1974.

Breeding Notes

Scheel in ROTOW 1 found the eggs to be sensitive to bacterial infection on the egg membrane causing premature hatching. He used water with a minimum of calcium & magnesium & an acid pH of 5·0. Acriflavine & methylene blue in equal parts (2 ppm) were also used.
Scheel found that Paramecium was too large as a first food & favoured smaller Rotifers. Newly hatched mosquito larvae were used as a second food. Using these foods Scheel found they matured in 5 - 6 weeks. (I think this must be a typing error & may represent months instead of weeks).Other reports state they are slow growing , maturing sexually in 8 - 9 months.

Incubation period at 74°F has been reported at 12 days.

BKA newsletter No.86, October 1972. Planted tanks are preferred with subdued lighting. Water temperature was higher than that for other killies & 74°F was satisfactory.
First signs of sexing out appear after 3 months old where an extension in the caudal can be seen in males. Full maturity is reached in perhaps 8 months.

George Mamanov in BKA newsletter No. 402, March 1999 reported eggs take 8-12 days incubation in water at 22-25°C. Adding clean, fresh water stimulates hatching. Growth rate is slow but speeds up when the first vertical bands start to appear. Fry can die easily if the water gets polluted so regular water changes are needed.

Diameter of Egg Very small. 0·9 - 0·95 mm.

Scheel found that by crossing populations from Kasewe & Monrovia a stronger fish resulted which were easier to breed & maintain than pure populations.

This species prefers to take food from the surface. Wingless fruit fly or mosquito larvae are good foods.