National Geographic : 1934 Jan
TROPICAL FISH IMMIGRANTS Photograph by Loren Tutell THE TROPICAL FISH "APARTMENTS" AT THE SHEDD AQUARIUM In this specially equipped and artistically designed section the aquarium maintains a permanent public exhibition of 65 tanks containing an average of 125 to 140 distinct species. The public aquariums have aided the movement by direct importations. Dur ing the past summer the Shedd Aqua rium dispatched an expedition to Australia, which, in addition to the large fishes that were the object of the trip, obtained a number of smaller tropical specimens new to this country, although known to aqua rists in the antipodes. Notable in this collection were the firetail and carp gud geons and the little Australian blue-eye (see Color Plate IV). The latter, if it is successfully established, bids fair to be come a popular favorite. A BABEL OF FISH NAMES Various textbooks and scientific reports list approximately 600 distinct fishes adapt able to life in the small aquarium. Of these about 200 species were available in this country a few years ago. To-day, largely as a result of the increased impor tations, the number of available species has been doubled. Many of these species were known to aquarists only by name and pic ture; others, which had been occasionally received in the past, were so rare that they were greeted as new fishes, and a few were unknown to aquarists and scientists alike. It is not surprising that, with so many new arrivals in a comparatively short time, there should be a resulting confusion of names. Some of the new arrivals were named hastily and put on the market, only to have the rightful owner of the name appear in a subsequent shipment. Some were erroneously identified, and still others have been put on the market with only the generic names. Interested ichthyologists are working as rapidly as possible to straighten out the tangle. Meanwhile, the fishes have been distributed and occasional protests have been voiced against the changing of a name that already has become familiar. Aqua rists will realize, however, that every fish should have its correct name in the inter est of order and the avoidance of future confusion. For twenty years or more American aquarists have kept and bred a beautiful fish known as Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum.