Fundulopanchax sjoestedti (Lönnberg 1895)

Fp.sjoestedti. Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Meaning of Name

After Yngve Sjöstedt, the collector.

First Description

Lönnberg A.J.E. 1895 (Fundulus Sjöstedti).

Notes on the fishes collected in the Cameroons by Dr. Y.Sjöstedt.

Ofversigt af Konglar Svenska Vetenskaps Akademiens Förhandlingar 3: p 191-193.


14 cm

  • D = 17-18, A = 17, ll = 27-28 (Lönnberg 1895)
  • D = 11-12, A = 13-14, ll = 30-32 (Ahl 1924)
  • D = 14-18, A = 16-19, ll = 31-37 (Scheel 1968)

n = 20, A = 20 (Scheel 1968, 1975)





  • Fundulus sjöstedti Lönnberg 1895
  • Fundulus gularis var A. Arnold 1908
  • Fundulus gularis Blau Fischer 1910
  • Fundulus gularis var. coerulea Boulenger 1915
  • Aphyosemion (Fundulopanchax) coeruleum Myers 1924
  • Fundulus caeruleus Ahl 1924
  • Fundulus zimmeri Ahl 1924
  • Fundulopanchax coeruleus Stolzenhain 1927
  • Fundulopanchax coeruleum Rachow 1928
  • Fundulus sjoestedti Holly 1930
  • Fundulopanchax zimmeri Meinken 1930
  • Aphyosemion zimmeri Myers 1933
  • Aphyosemion caeruleum Myers 1933
  • Nothobranchius coeruleus Ladewig 1935
  • Aphyosemion coeruleum Arnold & Ahl 1936
  • Aphyosemion sjoestedti Clausen 1966
  • Fundulopanchax sjoestedti Parenti 1981
  • Aphyosemion (Fundulopanchax) sjoestedti Huber 1994


  • Dwarf Red
  • Fungé
  • Lagos
  • Loé
  • Port Harcourt
  • Ndian River
  • Niger Delta
  • Sapele
  • USA (An import from the USA into France around the early '80's & was distributed with this name).
  • Warri
  • CJ 05 - Niger Delta

A Spanish import to the 2003 BKA convention.


Form circulating in the BKA early 1980's

Form known to be circulating in the USA.
Photo courtesy of Monty Lehmann.

Dwarf Red -

Dwarf Red. Photo: Roger Gladwell
Note spacing of bars in rear half of body.

Dwarf Red. Photo courtesy of Adam Rychlik

Dwarf Red. Circulating in the BKA early 1980's

Dwarf Red male.
Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Dwarf Red female.
Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Dwarf Red female in circulation in the BKA early 1970's BKA photo.


Dwarf Red in circulation in the BKA early 1970's BKA photo.


Loe -

Loé. Wild male collected by Viktor Schwoisser near to Fungé. Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Loé. Wild male as left. Photo courtesy of Ed Pürzl.

Photo courtesy of Günther Schmaus.


Loé. Female.
Photo courtesy of Alberto Restrepo Ubach


Warri - This is the accepted name in the hobby. In reality the location can be seen spelt Wauri or Waurri. First seen in AKA auctions in 1990 & probably first imported to the UK in 1992.
Warri is a swamp area. I have talked to a Nigerian working on a thesis on other species but knows the Warri area. He informed me that the Warri area is destroyed by petro-chemical industrial activity. It is highly probable this population is extinct in nature.
An article appears in AKA Journal Sept/Oct 1992. In this mention is made to a blue & an orange form in reference to the caudal fin.
It has been found that egg production increases when only 1 male is used in the breeding set up. Sexing out can be as early as 3/4".

Roger Gladwell in BKA newsletter No.472, January 2005 gives a breeding report. Males were aggressive to females & they needed 2-3. Over a period of time the eggs became more infertile & less in number. With these older fish the few eggs which were good were stored on peat. It was not until 6 months had past that the eggs started to develop & at a rapid pace. At 6 months & 2 weeks he wet the peat & hatched 4 females & 6 males.
These fish grew well but refused to breed. When they were very old he put them into 15" deep, planted tanks with a couple of bottom mops. In this set up they laid a lot of eggs which were put on peat. These took 5 months of incubation before hatching started.
These fish were raised & set up to breed at a young age. Eggs from these hatched after 3 months of incubation.

Roger's reference to 15" deep tanks reminded me of a piece in Amiet's book 'Fauna of Cameroon' (p162) where he mentions ' In Cameroon, the annuals or semi annuals which colonise sandy holes can, however, live in slightly deeper water (in the region of a metre?)'.

Warri male.

Warri female.

Warri male.


Taken in my fish house by Dick Cox.

Warri male throat pattern.

These images were taken by
Derek Jordan of Warri spawning.
Type Locality

A rivulet near to the waterfall of the Ndian River, western Cameroon.


Coastal western Nigeria, Niger delta & the extreme west of Cameroon where they inhabit areas on sedimentary soils.


Raffia swamps, temporary pools & swamp areas & swampy areas of slow flowing streams. Scheel, in ROTOW 1 considered the extent of there western distribution area was Lagos, Nigeria.

Distinguishing Characteristics Not really likely to be confused with any other species. The caudal fin has a red / orange colouration in the lower half & the upper half has spots or lines. Most populations have a wide pale blue outer margin in the lower caudal fin. The upper outer margin is narrower.
Colour/Pattern Variability Medium / high

Lönnberg described this sp. in 1895 from 2 specimens. The first specimen (a male) was collected in a small brook near the waterfall on the Ndian River. The second (a female) was collected from Bonge, west Cameroon. This specimen was badly damaged. Both were collected by Sjöestedt in 1891-92 who collected them below the falls where the Ndian factory was then located. He travelled to these locations by boat.
In 1966 Scheel & Clausen attempted to collect them around M'bonge on the Meme River but were unsuccessful. Scheel considered that Sjöestedt's Bonge was situated closer to the coast than the present day location of M'bonge, both localities were on the Meme River.
Boulenger misidentified this sp. & called them
Fundulus gularis var. coerulea Boulenger 1915.
The name sjoestedti has been used since 1910 to describe populations of occidentalis. Again, Boulenger misidentified a collection from Sherboro Island off the coast of Sierra Leone as sjoestedti. Also misidentified was a list of specimens from Akonolinga, east Cameroon. These were referable to batesii.
Krüger reported that Sjöestedt informed him in 1912 that the fish named after him were caught in the Njong (Nyong) River above the falls some 200 kms from the sea near a station named Atiga-Samboso. Scheel reported that his book (published in 1904) contained no information about his visiting the Nyong drainage between 1890-92 but that he may have been there at a later date. The area 200 km from the coast ( between Akonolinga & Mbalmayo) is an area known to have A.batesii.

Boulenger gives the following collectors / locations in his 1915 Catalogue.

  • 1-5. Collected at Akonolinga, Nyong River, southern Cameroon by G.L.Bates
  • 6-9. Donated to the BMNH by J.P.Arnold from a Calabar collection.
  • 10-11. Donated to the BMNH by J.P.Arnold from a collection at Sherboro.
  • 12-13. Donated to the BMNH by Mr. A.Rachow from a collection from Axim, Gold Coast

Myers used coerulea (sjoestedti) as the type sp. for Fundulopanchax.
In 1966 Clausen suggested that all localities west of the Dahomey Gap referred to as sjoestedti should be named occidentalis as sjoestedti is known to inhabit eastern Nigeria & Cameroon.

The BKA received fish from the AKA in 1970 for distribution through the species controller.

History of the synonym Fundulus gularis var. coerulea Boulenger 1915

Groch collected the first specimen (a male) kept in aquaria near Warri, western Niger Delta. This specimen (according to Arnold in 1906) was the first shipment of aquarium fishes sent from Atlantic Africa. This shipment arrived in Hamburg on the 4th of November 1905. Arnold maintained this male for about a year & reported it growing to 4" (10 cm).
Quite a few imports were recorded in these early years. August 1906: several specimens sent to Germany but all were lost soon after. December 1906: A female was imported which Arnold had. September 1907: 28 live specimens were imported. Arnold had a pair of 2 colour varieties. He made drawings of both varieties & sent them to Boulenger along with the 1906 female. He identified all as gulare.
The first photograph to be published (in 1908) was taken by Oelze. In the same year Arnold succeeded in breeding them.
Other imports were receiced into Germany up to 1911 & were called 'var.A (blue)' & var.B.(yellow)'. These names were recommended by Arnold in 1908. Both varieties were bred by other aquarists.
German breeders were not in agreement with Boulenger's identification but Boulenger did not change his mind. Boulenger even visited Arnold in April 1911 & saw the live fish but still did not change his mind. He did acknowledge Arnold in a note published in 1915 quoting "In a large var.coerulea (var. A. Arnold) the body of the male is bluish with red vertical bars & the caudal is yellow in the middle & blue above & below".
In 1924 Ahl considered them to be a distinct sp. on the basis of scale count & colours.
In 1924 Myers made coerulea the type species for the genus Fundulopanchax ( in Aphyosemion).
Clausen, in 1966, considered coerulea to represent a synonym of sjoestedti.
See also Fp.gularis.

History of the synonym Fundulus zimmeri Ahl 1924

Ahl described this sp. from 2 specimens said to have originated from the aquarium trade in Germany (Berlin Aquarium according to Meinken in 1930). He considered this material to have been collected from the mouth of the Niger but no evidence was reported. Meristically they were reported as D=11-12, A=13-14, the size was measured at 7 cm.
Radda examined the preserved fish & reported that the broad bands on the body were not really broad & neither were they cross-barred as an Epiplatys sp.

Breeding Notes

Best maintained in larger aquaria. Eggs can be layed in bottom mops, peat substrate (which can be dried every few weeks) or sand. Dry incubation takes about 6 - 16 weeks. Water incubation takes around 3-6 weeks. Fry are large enough on hatching to take newly hatched brine shrimp. Growth is quite fast with first signs of sexing out being observed after 6 weeks.
This is a large species & regular water changes are advised when growing young on.

Brian Horsfall in BKA Newsletter No. 310, July 1991 recorded the need to put fresh eggs in water with an acid pH as low as pH 3·8 - 4 for the first few days.

George Mamonov in BKA newsletter No. 335, August 1993 reports incubating the eggs at 18-23°C for around 3 months. It can take up to 14 hours for htching using melted ice or snow to hatch eggs at 24-26°C. This water was subjected to UV light for 3-10 minutes. Fry were sensitive to water changes & would die over pH 7.

Diameter of Egg  
Remarks The dwarf red variety was introduced into the AKA in 1969 by Mr. Jue. The exact origin of this strain is unknown.
Sterba in Freshwater Fishes reported that young hatch in 3-9 weeks. Dave Ramsey's page.