The Great Endler Divide
The bulk of the Endlers that have names today (2016) got their names from two different breeders.
In the United States most of the original Endlers got their name from Adrian Hernandez (AdrianHD) the individual that chose what Endlers he would develop into strains from the original Endlers that were brought to the United States after being collected by Armando Pou in Venezuela.
In Europe most of the Endler Strains got their name from the Phillip Voisin & Co who collected Endlers in Venezuela a few years after Armando Pou collected Endlers for AdrianHD.
After AdrianHD developed his original Endler strains, Adrian and others developed the Endler Classification System(ECS).
This classification system was developed to help protect pure strains of Endlers from being diluted from hybridization by Guppies and other livebearers.
This classification system helps provide documentation to those who wish to purchase pure Endlers and show that their Endlers are pure.
While this classification system works, there are those that believe the system was developed as a way for AdrianHD to corner the market on pure strain Endlers in the United States. Further substantiating the argument is the fact that AdrianHD controls the ECS and will not allow any of the Endlers that where collected by the Phillip Voisin & Co to be included on the ECS.
AdrianHD maintains that the Endlers that where collected by the Phillip Voisin & Co contain some wild guppy genetics and therefor cannot be included in the ECS.
Personally I really don’t care one way or the other as long as the strains are kept pure as they were collected in Venezuela however this controversy has created some division between United States and European collectors.
This division in the hobby also caused a division in the way Endlers are named. For the most part, AdrianHD named his Endler strains based on the way they looked. Here are some of the original strain names that were chosen:
- Black Bar Endlers
- Peacock Endlers
- Red Chest Endlers
- Double Red Stripe Endlers
- Original Snake Chest Endlers
- Flame Tail Endlers
- Center Peacock Endlers
- Lime Green Endlers
- Orchid Endlers
Phillip Voisin Endlers
Phillip Voisin & Co chose as somewhat different approach to naming most of their Endlers. With a few exceptions they chose to name their Endlers based on the location where they were collected.
Some of the strains collected and developed by Phillip Voisin & Co are:
- Campoma Blue Star
- Campoma Silverado
- Cumana Rainbow
- Campoma El Tigre
- Campoma Rio Oro
- Campoma No. 3
- Campoma No. 7
- Campoma No. 9
- Campoma No. 17
- Campoma No. 25
- Campoma No. 28
- Campoma No. 31
- Campoma No. 40
- Campoma No. 42
- Campoma No. 43
- Campoma No. 45
- Campoma No. 46
- Campoma No. 48
Not only are there pure original strains that are available for the Endler hobbyist, there is also a few variations that have been introduced into the hobby.
These variations are naturally occurring mutations of the original strains. Variations or mutations are fairly common in Endlers and some of these variations can be quite beautiful.
When new and exciting variations are discovered they are often bred into their own unique strain. Fortunately due to the incredibly rapid growth cycle of Endlers these new strains can be developed in relatively short periods of time.
Our Snakeskin Orchid Endler is an example of a new strain that was developed from a variation of the original Orchid Endler.
The Blue Neon Endler is another example of a variation of a pure strain Endler that was modified by selective breeding. This beautiful strain was developed in Japan and is a variation of the Lime Green Endlers originating from AdrianHD’s colonies.
Another variation that we have found to be somewhat commonly naturally occurring in nearly all of our Endler strains is a sword on the tail that grows longer than normal. So far we have seen this randomly occur in all of our pure strains except for our Snakeskin Orchid Endler strain.
These swords are different than those you would find in Guppy/Endler hybrids. The swords are quite thin and delicate. Often the sword will continue to grow until it breaks off and continues to grow again.
Wild Type or Selective Breeding
Another thing to consider when deciding which Endlers you would prefer to raise would be to obtain wild type or strains of pure Endlers that have been improved or modified through selective breeding.
Wild type Endlers are not only pure Endlers, they are Endlers that are bred to look like the original Endlers that were captured and brought back from Venezuela.
The problem with this is that Endlers have a relatively short life span and the original Endlers would have died long ago. If one were to simply keep the Endlers breeding uncontrollably the end result after a few years would be Endlers that bare little resemblance to the original Endlers. These Endlers usually end up with diluted colors and patterns.
This is what happened to the original Endlers that were brought back to Europe by John Endler in 1975. When John Endler saw the Endlers a few years later the Endlers had lost much of the appeal that they had when they were first discovered.
John Endler specifically mentioned that the Endlers had lost much of the original green coloration that attracted him to the Endlers in the first place.
So how can you keep Endlers looking like the original Endlers that were discovered in Venezuela? By selective breeding. By allowing the females to only breed with those males that have the same colors and patterns as the original males brought back from Venezuela you can maintain a strain that looks essentially like the wild Endlers that were discovered in Venezuela.
Selective breeding can also be used to improve the strains. Endlers with the best colors and patterns can be selected as the breeding stock and replaced and better looking Endlers are produced. In this way the strain is always improving into a more colorful and beautiful strain.
This method of selective breeding keeps the original genetics of the Endlers intact while helping to keep the strain as beautiful as possible. We use this selective breeding method for most of our pure strain Endlers.
Selective breeding can also be used to bring out those traits that are not found in the original strains. From time to time naturally occurring variations can be produced. Selective breeding can be used to cause these variations to become a permanent part of an Endler strain. This method was used to produce our Snakeskin Orchid Endlers.
We named our Snakeskin Orchid Endlers after the pure N Class Orchid Endlers that they were produced from.
Selective breeding can also be used emphasis existing traits that naturally occur in an Endler strain. Colors, patterns, body or fin shapes can all be selectively bred to produce Endlers that look somewhat different than their wild type counterparts.
It has been said that nearly all Endlers on the market today are hybrids. Thanks to breeders like AdrianHD and others this is not completely true. There are still great pure strain Endlers available today such as the ones we offer on this website.
The reason that there are so many Guppy/Endler hybrids is because accidental or intentional hybridization will almost always result in fertile offspring.
Sometimes these hybridized Endlers look nearly identical to their genetically pure counterparts making it difficult to know if you are getting pure Endlers simply by looking at them.
This is why it is important for those who wish to keep or breed pure Endlers to get them from a reputable breeder rather than from your local fish store which often mixes guppies and Endlers in their sale tanks. It is also important that the breeder you choose can show where their Endlers came from so that you can make sure your Endlers are pure.
We offer a Breeder/Keeper registry to help document where our Endlers came from and make it possible for you to continue the line of documentation in order to preserve your Endler’s pure N Class status.
While hybridized Endlers may be frowned upon by Endler purists, hybrid Endlers can be absolutely stunningly beautiful and help to bring new life to tired, sickly, inbred guppy strains.
Anyone who has kept Endlers knows how much more active Endlers are when compared to Fancy Guppies. Endler hybrids are usually active like pure Endlers making them as fun to watch as pure strain Endlers.
Whether you prefer Endlers collected by Phillip Voisin & Co, strains developed by Adrian Hernandez (AdrianHD), wild type, selectively bred Endlers, or even hybrids, you are sure to enjoy Endlers no matter what the strain. Those who have raised Endlers know what an active and fun species of fish they are to keep in a tank.