Killi Crypts Shrimp Plant species Enclycloaquaria CoF Invert Taxa

(Sub)genus Raddaella Huber 1977
Overview of the genus Raddaella

Akonlinga Ayos
Bifindi Mbankjok


Yellow upper and lower caudal margins both present. Green stripe on caudal peduncle absent.

Taxa history from Catalog of Fishes:

batesii, Fundulus Boulenger [G. A.] 1911:261 [Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 8) v. 8 (no. 44); ref. 578] Ja and Bumba rivers, Congo River basin, about 3°08'N, 12°25'E, southern Cameroon. Syntypes: (several) BMNH 1909.7.9.73-77 (6) Bumba R., 1907.5.22.210-211 (2?) Ja R. •Valid as Fundulopanchax batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Wildekamp 1996:158 [ref. 23649]). •Valid as Aphyosemion batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Wildekamp et al. 1986:200 [ref. 6198], Seegers 1988:56 [ref. 19980], Lazara 2001:10 [ref. 25711], van der Zee et al. 2007:163 [ref. 30034]). Valid as Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Sonnenberg & Schunke 2010:337 [ref. 30994]). Current status: Valid as Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911). Nothobranchiidae. Distribution: West-central Africa. Habitat: freshwater.

Of all the photos of this fish around so far this one looks most like Boulenger's original desctiption.

BLLMC_05-15 Ekombitie
GBH_01-15 GBL_85-15 GBL_85-18


Green stripe on caudal peduncle; lower caudal margin always present, upper caudal margin may be present in some populations and one or both may be yellow, white or blue and both margins may not be the same color.

One of the most striking of all killifish let along all Aphyosemions - in a family of fish more colorful than other members of the family. As the probably ancestor of SJO, often called "the King of the Killies" perhaps that title more rightly belongs to this fish not only for the striking appearance but for as well the idea that perhaps these fish are the ancestors of all Aphyosemion.

From the Catalog of fishes:

kunzi, Aphyosemion Radda [A. C.] 1975:15, Pl. 10 [British Killifish Association, Killi News (Separate) Jun. 1975; ref. 20501] Brook on the right side of road near Mboamo village, Etakanyabé, 20 kilometers east of the ferry across the Ivindo in Makokou on National Road No. 15 to Okondja, , northern Gabon 0°30'N, 13°01'E [or 0°32'N, 12°57'E]. Holotype: NMW 77335. Paratypes: NMW 77336-37 (2, 2). •Synonym of Aphyosemion batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Wildekamp et al. 1986:200 [ref. 6198], Lazara 2001:11 [ref. 25711]). •Synonym of Fundulopanchax batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Wildekamp 1996:158 [ref. 23649]). •Synonym of Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911). Current status: Synonym of Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911). Nothobranchiidae. Habitat: freshwater. Note the presence of the green strike on the caudal peduncle and note also the lack or any margins in the anal fin.

Djiri HZ86-9


Single lower yellow caudal margin. Green stripe on caudal peduncle absent. Long unpaired fin filaments.

Huber claimed synonomy with BAT, later molecular evidence shows that it is a unique species restricted to the Congo.

From the Catalog of fishes:

splendidus, Fundulus Pellegrin [J.] 1930:208 [Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France v. 55; ref. 16118] Sangha River, tributary of Congo River, northern Republic of the Congo. Lectotype: MNHN 1929-0247. Paralectotypes: MHNLR P.796 (2), MNHN 1929-0248 (55, now 51), USNM 92972 [ex MNHN 1929-248] (2). Type catalog: Bertin & Estève 1950:14-15 [ref. 19576], Aloncle 1968:685-686 [ref. 20713]. Lectotype designated by Huber 1979:7 [ref. 2269]. •Synonym of Aphyosemion batesii (Boulenger 1911) -- (Wildekamp et al. 1986:200 [ref. 6198], Lazara 2001:10 [ref. 25711]). •Synonym of Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911), Current status: Synonym of Raddaella batesii (Boulenger 1911). Nothobranchiidae. Habitat: freshwater.

  1. What Causes Partial F1 Hybrid Viability? Incomplete Penetrance versus Genetic Variation

Aphyosemion batesii

There is a non-zero chance these fish do not all refer to the same species.

"Nobody knows till DNA is analyzed. Luckily we have recently collected preserved fish from the type locality area of SPL. Not far north from it BAT was found collected. SPL in the Congo drainage and BAT in the upper Ivindo. If DNA of both is not very different, then BAT and SPL are synonyms. KUZ is a different story. Every KUZ can easily be identified by the green band on the caudal peduncle. If is geographically separated from BAT, but they meet in southern Cameroon. Only DNA can tell if KUZ is a colour morph of BAT or a species of its own" - Jouke van der ZEE, Sept 2014, pers comms.

Genus Raddaella Huber 1977
Raddaella is still - as of 2014 - a bit of a mystery although we may be a year or two off now from knowing what's what. There are three fish currently in the Genus and whether these are one or two or three species will not be known until DNA testing has been completed, it is fortunately already underway.

The story begins when a Mr. Bates collects a fish and deposits it in the British Museum in 1907. Boulanger was cataloging the fish there at the time and in 1911 described the species from a preserved specimen. Scheel mentions only the reg pigments stand up to formalin - and Bounger mentioned red on the face but not much else. It may or may not have had much red in the body but it seems unlikely.

Scheel mentioned in 1968 (ROTOW) that BAT was "far less colorful than SPL but that the two were differentiated by meristics and not color patterns" and felt the two very closely related species forming a super-species complex restricted to a specific area.

Seegers later described KUZ from a BAT like fish from Makokou in Gabon that most certainly was more colorful than any BAT and had a different color pattern as well. Huber placed this as a synonym under BAT almost certainly because it would be premature to erect a new species without knowing more about other forms in the area; without the understanding of the level of variance and degree of polymorphism a sound judgment can not be made based in a small sample of a greater unknown. Meristics are close, but nor radically different and there was no DNA evidence at all. DNA testing is now (late 2014) underway and hopefully soon a clearer picture of Raddaella taxonomy will emerge.

KUZ is another story and has a green (the same green as A. spoorenbergi) band in the caudal peduncle never found in BAT/SPL. KUZ is found outside of the range of the BAT/SPL fish and with one exception in Southern Cameroon the ranges never overlap. DNA testing will tell if KUZ is just a highly colorful population or a species in its own right.

Some (how many?) populations of Raddaella produce offspring that are highly variable to the point where the offspring look like a completely different form of Raddaella.

JVDZ offered the opinion informally there may be two species here and partial hybridization explains the variability both in the range and in certain individuals. So, the questions aquarists can help answer is which strains of Raddaella breed true vs. those that show variability in the young. (pers. comms. Nov 2016)

Jouke Vdz said in Dec/2016 (FB) "No splendidum DNA yet sequenced, but samples present in RMCA Tervuren collection. Collier presented this tree in 2007.

kunzi is not one species. There is even another "kunzi" population that is very different in DNA.

Very likely that splendidum is a species of its own. It occurs isolated in the Congo basin. Leendert van den Berg collected another rather different taxon in central Congo (brazzaville). Except for Collier (2007) nothing was officially published.

For the time being the 3 described species have separated geographical distribution areas. batesii: Cameroon and extreme NW of Republic of Congo; "kunzi" Ntem basin in S Cameroon + Equatorial Guinea; splendidum: Congo basin

You can read Boulenger's 1911 description of BAT.

"Raddaella consists of 3 different major phenotypes corresponding with the 3 described species and occurring in 3 disjunct areas, with very narrow strips where 2 species meet." - Jouke Van Der Zee

These three phenotypes of BAT are documented here.