It’s with very mixed feelings that I report on this exciting development in the marine fish breeding world. On a trip to Portland, Oregon last week (I was speaking at PNWMAS), I was floored by what I found while visiting the fishroom of a local clownfish breeder. It would appear that David Durr, proprietor of Clownfish Northwest, a regional supplier of captive bred clownfish to area fish shops, has been holding out on the marine aquarium hobby and industry. So much for The Lightning Project!
Durr is already well known in breeding circles and his local club for owning a true “Clownfish House” – an outbuilding at his suburban home where clownfish are propagated by the hundreds. Along with MBI Founder Tal Sweet, David Durr is credited with the public revelation that Platinum Percula clownfish can originate from Picasso Percula offspring. His ongoing work with this phenomenon may shed new light onto the genetic basis for Picasso and Platinum Perculas and will no doubt aid future ornamental clownfish breeders.
Regarding the few Maroon Clownfish demonstrating “Lightning” patterning, Durr was understandably (but frustratingly) tight-lipped about this recent development. Pretty much all he was willing to convey was that the mutation was hardly as prevalent as something like the Platinum Percula (as evidenced by the accompanying images he was reluctantly willing to share with me for ReefBuilders). No word on if, or when, Durr will be releasing Lightning Maroons to the hobby. We can only hope that Durr is forthcoming with his insights into Lightning Maroon genetics when the time is deemed appropriate.
I’m still completely stumped as to how Lightning Maroons “randomly” showed up out of a Maroon Clownfish pairing in David Durr’s hatchery. There was a section of broodstock tanks that I was not permitted to see, being told that the fish were sensitive and would routinely abort spawns if overly disturbed – I am guessing that the parents to the above maroon clownfish were under lockdown back there. It’s my working theory that David Durr may have acquired the other Lightning Maroon Clownfish that was reported on here at ReefBuilders one year ago today. That would likely explain where these mysterious Lighting Maroons came from.
And sorry to say…if that last link didn’t tip you off big time – April Fools!