How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

The forum for puffers that either live or start in brackish biotopes: GSPs, F8s, Ceylons & more.
User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

After I became the member of TPF, I found that many fish keepers don't know how to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs,and sometimes they bought a sabahensis from a group of GSPs,only after their little cuties grew up did they recognize that their GSPs were sabahensis.I am so envy of those who have bought a sabahensis among the GSPs,because in China,this kind of lucky things would never happen.Many people are good at distinguishing the little sabahensis and the same-size-large GSPs,especially the sellers,and,both of them are clearly separated for sale.
Therefore,it's easy for many Chinese people to recognize the sabahensis and the GSPs.For here,I got some experiences from a Taiwanese who got both little sabahensis and GSPs.It was he who set a new topic in the Chinese fish form to clarify the differences between the sabahensis and GSPs.
Actually,it's very easy to distinguish the sabahensis and the GSPs,even though they are the same size large.
①The easiest way is to observe their head.The pattern of the sabahensis head is indistinct,however,the pattern of the GSPs head is distinct.Just refer to the pictures below.
②Sabahensis:The distance between the top of their mouth and their eyes is long. GSP:The distance between the top of their mouth and their eyes is short.
There are still many features to distinguish them,but my English level is limited,so I just present the most important two features between the two similar creatures for you guys to refer.Just trust me,This method is very useful to recognize whether your little cutie is sabahensis or a GSP.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
purplecandle
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:18 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Currently
2 Adult Green Spotted Puffers
1 Fangs Puffer
1 Baby Green Spotted Puffer
Location (country): USA (NC)

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by purplecandle »

We have debated this a long time...and we can't agree!
I'm starting to wonder if mine are sabs because my big one is getting to 7 inches. I have to get a better measure to make sure.

Why are sabahensis more expensive?
Image

User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

purplecandle wrote:We have debated this a long time...and we can't agree!
I'm starting to wonder if mine are sabs because my big one is getting to 7 inches. I have to get a better measure to make sure.

Why are sabahensis more expensive?
How come you can't agree this? Is there any problem confusing you? I think the differences between them are obvious.In China,the sabahensis are more expensive than the GSPs,it costs you more than ¥300 to buy a sabahensis,but it only costs you ¥15 to buy a GSP.Because sabahensis are large species,while the GSPs are small ones.Sabahensis are rare in Chinese fish markets,but GSPs are widely sold.In my opinion,few GSP can grow over 7 inches,and if you doubt that whether yours are sabahensis,maybe you can observe their head,whether the pattern is indistinct,or,you can show me the pictures.

User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

purplecandle wrote:We have debated this a long time...and we can't agree!
I'm starting to wonder if mine are sabs because my big one is getting to 7 inches. I have to get a better measure to make sure.

Why are sabahensis more expensive?
I have seen your pics in your post"My GSPs",and I am sure to say that both of them are sabahensis,because the area around their mouths and eyes is indistinct,and there is no pattern.GSPs won't be over 5 inches,and all of the GSPs have distinct patterns on their heads.If you don't agree with me ,then show me a picture that a GSP over 5 inches,which has a distinct pattern head.That's almost impossible.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

I know some of you may disagree with my distinguishing method,but many Chinese People use this method to distinguish them,and both of them are strictly separated to be sold.Therefore,it's easy for us to believe that this method is absolutely right,because I've kept these two species for many years,and the differences between them is obvious.In western countries,maybe sabahensis and GSPs are mixed to be sold,and there is no a long-time experiment to prove that whether this is sabahensis or whether that is GSP,so many fish keepers are confused by these two similar species.If you wanna try to prove whether the method that Chinese people use is right or not,you can do an experiment.Just Choose two groups of little GSPs,one group with a indistinct pattern head,and the other group with a distinct pattern head.Several months or one year later,you will get the answer from the different sizes with the two groups.

nmonks
Mentor
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:33 am
My Puffers: Carinotetraodon irrubesco
Colomesus asellus
Contact:

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by nmonks »

You probably can't distinguish them without DNA analysis. Some scientists have written that even Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis have so much variation within each species ("polymorphism") that you can find some fish that are genetically Tetraodon fluviatilis but look like Tetraodon nigroviridis, and vice versa.

http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/spip/A-phyl ... study.html

What aquarium people recognise are fish with Tetraodon fluviatilis markings and fish with Tetraodon nigroviridis markings. I'd be very surprised if the story was different for Tetraodon sabahensis which is even more difficult to tell apart from the other two species!

In short, don't worry about it. Pick a "green spotted puffer" with markings you like, and call it whatever you want. Since the three species are identical in terms of size, care, etc., if you get the name wrong, it won't matter. No aquarist (without a DNA lab, anyway) will be able to prove you wrong, either.

Cheers, Neale

User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

nmonks wrote:You probably can't distinguish them without DNA analysis. Some scientists have written that even Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis have so much variation within each species ("polymorphism") that you can find some fish that are genetically Tetraodon fluviatilis but look like Tetraodon nigroviridis, and vice versa.

http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/spip/A-phyl ... study.html

What aquarium people recognise are fish with Tetraodon fluviatilis markings and fish with Tetraodon nigroviridis markings. I'd be very surprised if the story was different for Tetraodon sabahensis which is even more difficult to tell apart from the other two species!

In short, don't worry about it. Pick a "green spotted puffer" with markings you like, and call it whatever you want. Since the three species are identical in terms of size, care, etc., if you get the name wrong, it won't matter. No aquarist (without a DNA lab, anyway) will be able to prove you wrong, either.

Cheers, Neale
Well,thank you! I think the Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon nigroviridis are easy for many people to recognize,because they are different from their markings.In China,Tetraodon fluviatilis (the Ceylon puffer) are more expensive than Tetraodon nigroviridis and Tetraodon sabahensis .The average price is that ¥400 for large size Tetraodon fluviatilis , ¥300 for large size Tetraodon sabahensis and ¥15 for Tetraodon nigroviridis.Both Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon sabahensis are large-size puffers,but Tetraodon nigroviridis is small and common.Due to their strict separation for sale in Chinese fish market,it's clearer for me to know their differences even without the DNA lab.How I wish I could buy the puffers in a mixed group,then I would choose all of the baby sabahensis from the GSPs,haha~ :D

RTR
Mentor
Posts: 6155
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 4:39 pm
Gender: Male
Location (country): East Coast, USA

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by RTR »

Few folks here stay up late worrying about visual differences between similar species which have such massive distribution in the wild. Species, sub-species and variants of animals with extensive ranges really require other methods of species identification, and if Tetraodon is ever fully re-studied, we all know than the nomenclature is going to change radically..

If a variant physical appearance is real from a certain restricted area within GSP's natural range, segregation will be determined by means well beyond simple color/pattern differences. Otherwise they will at most be simply local variants. Larger and/or differently marked local variant can certainly be considered more desirable and therefore command higher to much higher prices, varying with their availability on the market. If anyone questions relative values of certain variants, they have never seen any really good Koi. A variant strain, especially one with restricted wild distribution, may or may not be a different species, sub-species or variety. Markings alone cannot require a different species.

FWIW, YMMV
Where's the fish? - Neptune

User avatar
purplecandle
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:18 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Currently
2 Adult Green Spotted Puffers
1 Fangs Puffer
1 Baby Green Spotted Puffer
Location (country): USA (NC)

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by purplecandle »

Celyon wrote:
purplecandle wrote:We have debated this a long time...and we can't agree!
I'm starting to wonder if mine are sabs because my big one is getting to 7 inches. I have to get a better measure to make sure.

Why are sabahensis more expensive?
I have seen your pics in your post"My GSPs",and I am sure to say that both of them are sabahensis,because the area around their mouths and eyes is indistinct,and there is no pattern.GSPs won't be over 5 inches,and all of the GSPs have distinct patterns on their heads.If you don't agree with me ,then show me a picture that a GSP over 5 inches,which has a distinct pattern head.That's almost impossible.
We do see the differences, I know my Puffers look different with longer snout and patterns. The problem we have is that we don't know if mine are just variant of the gsp. We don't know if they are gsps that just look different or if they are unique species like sab.

There is not enough research to tell us for sure.

Scientifically, I can only say they look like sabahensis.

I agree with you that mine might be sabahensis. :D Truthfully, I think they may be sabahensis. But, we can't say that scientifically for sure. I can certainly call mine sabahensis because they do look like sabahensis. No one would argue with me too much about it. Because they could be. It's just on a genetic level I can't say for sure.
Image

User avatar
purplecandle
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:18 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Currently
2 Adult Green Spotted Puffers
1 Fangs Puffer
1 Baby Green Spotted Puffer
Location (country): USA (NC)

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by purplecandle »

This is what the Puffer Forum Considers Sabahensis

Image

Image

And here is mine

Image

Image

Image

Image



So it's very close.. I can agree with that! Just don't know for 100% sure.
Image

User avatar
Corvus
Mentor
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Planet earth; mostly Germany recently

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Corvus »

I think you got it wrong and define species not in the way science does. If you want to use the scientific name T. sabahensis, you have to use it in the way of their original description. Please read at least the work by W.J. Dekkers (Review of the asiatic freshwater puffers...) on this species or subspecies. (page 130 ff).
What you have as GSP in the last picture of your first post in this thread is quite exactly what is classifies as sabahensis in the scientific literature.
Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he'll eat for weeks.

User avatar
purplecandle
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:18 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Currently
2 Adult Green Spotted Puffers
1 Fangs Puffer
1 Baby Green Spotted Puffer
Location (country): USA (NC)

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by purplecandle »

Corvus wrote:I think you got it wrong and define species not in the way science does. If you want to use the scientific name T. sabahensis, you have to use it in the way of their original description. Please read at least the work by W.J. Dekkers (Review of the asiatic freshwater puffers...) on this species or subspecies. (page 130 ff).
What you have as GSP in the last picture of your first post in this thread is quite exactly what is classifies as sabahensis in the scientific literature.
My pics or his pics? Mine are gsps right?
Image

User avatar
Corvus
Mentor
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Planet earth; mostly Germany recently

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Corvus »

@Purple Candle: His Pics. The last one labelled GSP looks very much like the ones Dekkers illustrated and described as sabahensis. Your puffers are in my opinion what is classified as GSP, although I am certain, there are several species or subspecies or regional varieties within this species. They have not been described yet und one will quite surely need to apply genetic methods to to clarify this topic.
Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he'll eat for weeks.

User avatar
purplecandle
Mbu Puffer
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:18 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: Currently
2 Adult Green Spotted Puffers
1 Fangs Puffer
1 Baby Green Spotted Puffer
Location (country): USA (NC)

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by purplecandle »

Corvus wrote:@Purple Candle: His Pics. The last one labelled GSP looks very much like the ones Dekkers illustrated and described as sabahensis. Your puffers are in my opinion what is classified as GSP, although I am certain, there are several species or subspecies or regional varieties within this species. They have not been described yet und one will quite surely need to apply genetic methods to to clarify this topic.
:lol: ok I was confused there for a second!

I'm almost determined to get them DNA tested when they die just to settle the matter! I'll just keep calling them gsps with a few sab characteristics. Doesn't matter, I love them just the same...fat little boogers.
Image

User avatar
Celyon
Puffer Fry
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
My Puffers: My Ceylon name's Fatguy
Location (country): China
Location: China

Re: How to distinguish the baby sabahensis and GSPs ?

Post by Celyon »

Corvus wrote:I think you got it wrong and define species not in the way science does. If you want to use the scientific name T. sabahensis, you have to use it in the way of their original description. Please read at least the work by W.J. Dekkers (Review of the asiatic freshwater puffers...) on this species or subspecies. (page 130 ff).
What you have as GSP in the last picture of your first post in this thread is quite exactly what is classifies as sabahensis in the scientific literature.
Well,thank you for your debate,I think I've seen the different way of how the western people and eastern people observe a same thing.In China,the fish market is just still like a hodgepodge,and we've never had such scientific way to do some research on the fish that we like.Many of those things that we know are just from the experience we've concluded.Even though there is no a strong evidence to show whether this is right or not,I think it's still a useful way,and maybe sometimes this is not true.Anyway,you've taught me how to think about things,thank you. :)

Post Reply