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Ameca splendens

                Mexcalpique mariposa
                     Butterfly splitfin

Etymology: Ameca comes from the river where it was found. splendens if derived from the Latin meaning bright, shining, or glowing.

Originally found in the Rio Ameca and its tributary, Rio Teuchitlan in the federal state of jalisco. This species at a point seemed to disappear and was thought to be extinct in the wild. It is now found in some habitats in the Teuchitlan/Ameca area.  The distribution may be wider than thought, though they are still considered critically endangered. As of now there are no distinguished ESUs, therefore, all Ameca splendens belong to Amesp1. The maximum known length is 90 mm (about 3.5 inches) SL  ("About the Species, Ameca splendens").

A. splendens habitat is clear warm springs (26*-28* C.) with moderate to slight currents up to 1.2m deep. The substrates ranging of mud, sand, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The vegetation comprising of potamogeton, water hyacinth, ceratophyllum, and green algae. They are mainly herbivorous, (having a long coiled gut, numerous gill rakers, and bifid teeth) grazing on filamentous algae and diatoms. They are also known to eat mosquito larvae, copepods, and small insects (Miller et al, 2005). 

We have had Ameca splendens here at Chippewa Valley Aquatics (CVA) since about 2013.  We originally acquired them from a breeder in Colorado, and since have added new blood through  purchases at the ALA conventions.   We have had good success with them using ten gallon tanks for pairs and twenty and twenty-nine gallon tanks for colony breeding. The tanks are kept at room temperature without heaters. The temperature stays at about 68 degrees F. +/- 3 degrees. They are not particularly sensitive to water quality. We use water from our tap, which is about 7.4-7.6 PH, and around 192 ppm TDS. They do seem to enjoy large weekly water changes of about 50% or more. Filtration consists of sponge filters and/or box filters driven by a central air system. The fish seem to breed all times of the year. They will drop 3-9 fry about every two months .  We keep them in species only tanks with large amounts of vegetation, usually Java Moss, (Vesicularia dubyana). They are generally peaceful, but they are quite active. I see the adults chasing each other around, but have never noticed any sign of damage or injury caused by it. They do occasionally eat  their fry, but if they are fed well, have clean water, and plenty of live plants to hide in, these fish will multiply rapidly.  We do quite often move females to a separate  "Maternity tank" to drop her fry. I feel they do better when they are not competing with and being   We feed a variety of foods here. A. splendens is considered primarily herbivorous, so a vegetable base food as a staple is good. We give a spirulina flake. We also feed a mini-pellet with 50% protein, and give live baby brine shrimp and some frozen foods as a treat. 

Female A. splendens            dropping fry 
Typical male A.splendens

2009. About the Species, Ameca splendens. Goodeid working Group. . February  9, 2019.

Miller, Robert et al. Freshwater Fishes of Mexico. The University of Chicago Press, 2005

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