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Collecting Corydoras sp. "CW-018"

During one of my trips to the Amazon area, Peru, in October/November 2006,
I visited Pacaya Samira National Reserve, again.
In the lower course of Rio Pacaya (a tributary to Rio Ucayali), there is a lake, Yarina Cocha.
(Not to be confused with the big oxbow lake with the same name, slightly north of Pucallpa)

The lake has a tremendous amount of inhabitants like this ( huge caimans),
still we took a swim in this water.

We easily caught fish like this (piranha), along the shore:

To swim in these waters was not the most secure thing I have done.

To watch the Mesonauta sp. in peaceful coexistence around a fallen tree at the shore,
was a sight for sore eyes:

Since I was hunting for Apistogramma, we persuaded some native people to show us
a small stream ending in the lake:

Not exactly the brook of my dreams, this small pool, but there were fish in it !

Fortunately, there were more water just around a bend:

Parts of it was all covered with a green carpet:

It was a kindergarten of Pistia stratiotes:

The water: pH: 6,35 Conductivity: 32 microSiemens/cm, T: 28,2 °C

 In parts of the brook like this, the depth of the water was only one inch ( this was at the end of the low water season), and below the water, a thick layer of mud.

Here we collected a lot of fish just by pulling the landing net through the water, the mud and the plants,
and excitingly sort the fish out afterwards.

This is not the story about the exciting Apistogramma I collected :

We got a lot of Corydoras in the net. Most of them were Corydoras elegans. But some were
quite different.

They were quite small at the time they were collected, but today they have grown to a
total length of about 46 - 53 mm ( from the nose to the beginning of the caudal fin) :

It looks like the bigger females have more gray colour on the flanks, while the
slender males appear more pink/red.

Nobody had seen this form of Corydoras before, so the fish were brought
all the way back home to Norway.

Ian Fuller had a look at them when he visited me and my aquarium-room in Norway
in November 2006, and he said it was a new species of Corydoras.
He gave this species the name Corydoras sp."CW-018".

I have now (April 2007) seen signs of this kind of behavior:

Maybe there is some romance in the air ?

Finally, a detail of a previous picture.
I just fell in love with this shy, young lady, with her downcast eyes, blushing softly
as she was photographed by an admirer:

I wish to thank my good friend and enthusiastic travelling companion, Francisco, who is the owner and
manager of the Stingray-Aquarium SAC, the biggest exporter of ornamental fish in Peru.

 (Francisco is the one to the left!)

He arranged everything, and made this unforgettable journey possible.