Today, I’m going to write about a really interesting fish. I am speaking about the Safari Ltd Loach Minnow. Produced for Marsh & Associates LLC as a part of their Marsh Education program. The loach minnow is one of the many fishes in Cypriniformes, the minnows, chubs, dace, loaches, goldfish ,carp, , minnows…etc. It’s a big group.
Loach minnows are a small stream-dwelling minnow found in New Mexico and Arizona. Their short lifespan and low distribution has caused them to be listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, although USFWS has them listed as Endangered.
I first discovered by a total fluke of an eBay search. I stumbled upon the Desert Pupfish by accident and seeing the markings on the auction that clearly said Safari Ltd. Despite being marked with the organization, I could not locate the source by the time. Someone find this site listing the product test reports of the Pupfish…and a Razorback Sucker! So now we knew that there was at least one other figure.
The loach minnow figure is about 15.4cm making the scale 2.4:1. This is great for a figure meant for education purposes, since it makes the features much more clear. It’s hard to see small details on small fish.
The fins are held out fully erect from their body with the fin rays individually sculpted. The fins in body are generally white with a darker wash; the ventral fins are all red at the bases indicating that it is a spawning male. The tail is sculpted with red and a pair of thin black bands. The face has been sculpted in careful detail. Eyes were painted a shiny gold with black pupil, and ringed in black. The nostrils are sculpted with a slight indent and picked out with black as well. The red lips on the under mouth are also indicative of spawning colours.
The abdomen is completely reddish orange, obviously inspired by a breeding male, but is somewhat exaggerated. The texture of the abdomen is smooth. The head , as well as the very dorsal margin to the base of the dorsal fin, is smooth and scale less. Unmarked by black marks, although there is a black wash around it.
There’s one problem, When I bought it several years ago from Marsh Education…my first parcel was lost, and it was the last one available for sale. Fortunately, they were able to dig up one more for me on the reship along with an Apache Trout and Colorado Pikeminnow. By the way that was the last one. It would be very great to see more figures of other cypriniformes to better appreciate our fishy friends and their freshwater habitats.