Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859

I was tracking down the original description of P. reticulata for reference, which proved to be a little difficult.

HB sunset guppy

It was published in 1859 on page 412 of Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin (abbreviated title Ber.Akad.Wiss.Berlin). The article, while it doesn’t have a title in the publication, is referred to as Eine neue vom Herrn Jagor im atlantischen Meere gefangene Art der Gattung Leptocephalus, und über einige andere neue Fische des Zoologischen Museums. Here is the original text, including the introduction:

6. Poecilia reticulata n. sp.

Grünlichgelb mit einem schwarzen Netzwerk, dessen Maschen den Rändern der Schuppen parallel liegen, am Bauche silbrig. Schuppen in 7 Längs- und in 27 Querreihen; obwohl einige derselben durchbohrt erscheinen, ist doch keine deutliche Seitenlinie zu sehen. Ganze Länge 39, Höhe 9, Länge des Kopfes 7 Millimeter.

D. 8. A. 10.

Caracas; in dem Guayre-Flusse von Gollmer gesammelt.

This roughly translates as:

6. Poecilia reticulata n. sp.

Greenish-yellow with a black mesh, with the pattern parallel to the edges of the scales, the belly silver. Scales are present in 7 horizontal and 27 vertical rows; although some of the scales appear pierced, no significant lateral line can be seen. Overall length 39 [mm], height 9 [mm], length of head 7 mm.

D. 8. A. 10.

[Collected from] Caracas [Venezuela]; in the Guayre River, from Gollmer.

D would be referring to the number of rays in the dorsal fin and A to the number of rays in the anal fin.

For those of you who are interested, the full publication is available from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *