Second expedition in the Amazon Oct. 2009
by Tom Christoffersen
Our second expedition ......
First, we took a "rapido"(fast boat) and then a motor taxi to Mazan
(More photos from Mazan in the article "The hunt for the true Apistogramma cruzi")
Be sure; the vultures are always keeping an eye on you:
After a nice meal, we went to bed in this nice little "hotel" (the building at the left)
Next morning: Rio Napo at 05:00 am:
The mouth of Rio Mazan to the left, and Rio Napo coming down from the right:
We had rented a small boat with a very powerful engine and a driver (we didn't have the time to go with a "pequi-pequi"),
so we went very fast up the huge Rio Napo:
After a while, we stopped and walked in to a small community.
After having hired a local "guide" to help us, we went into the jungle:
After more than 2 hours of walking and climbing in the hot, hilly, muddy, slippery and wet jungle, we arrived at the first habitat:
(Yes, the local guy brought a rifle with him; afraid of meeting some dangerous animals)
pH: 5,22 Conductivity: 7 microSimens/cm Temperature: 24,4 °C
And we got fish!
The locals didn't have any other name for this fish than "an eunotus-type fish with red back/dorsal fin", but you see
the similarities with a group of fish from the Pebas area.
We also got some nice tetras:
Then more walking in the jungle
In the next habitat
we at first only found one female Apistogramma: (excitingly with a double caudal spot like A. sp. Papagei)
We moved further up in this little stream
pH: 5,32 Conductivity: 3 (!) microSimens/cm Temperature: 24,8 °C
met a very nice caterpillar:
and at last found both males and females:
A very strange bar 7 in this female:
Our fisherman called this species "Morado", but it looks different from the fish we all now as A. sp. Pebas (Morado)
Then we walked back towards the place where we started
and after more than 6 hours in the jungle, we were quite exhausted, and back were we started.
In a small stream near by our fisherman told us we could find Apistogramma cruzi.
pH: 6,77 Conductivity: 68 microSimens/cm Temperature: 33,4 °C (!!!)
Here "our" fisherman and the local guide try the net :
and we got lots of Apistogramma:
Yes, A. cruzi like, but not the same as we know as A. cruzi (?):
We will study the fish from this expedition more closely later, and take some new pictures.Almost the whole community gathered to say goodbye to us:
The jungle was so hot and humid that it was impossible to get better photos.....
Then we went back to Mazan, and a "rapido" brought us back to Iquitos.
We are now looking forward to a very long expedition to the Rio Tapiche...
I'm sorry for misspellings, using the wrong words etc., but I just don't have the time to work more with this report now
(I don't know if that would have helped much, anyway).
Maybe more to follow........