You may recall that about this time last year we were very excited about a misbar Maroon Clownfish being shown off by ORA at MACNA. Later on, video of this overbarred or piebald Maroon Clownfish morph, strain or oddball suggests that these were in fact derived from Gold Stripe Maroons.
While we’ve seen the oddball Maroon Clownfish here and there, we have to say that a clutch of baby Gold Stripe Maroons being raised by Mike Hoang, a director of MarshReef.com, has our attention. We’ve seen one or two fish looking like this come out of Sustainable Aquatics in the past. Dare we say it, but some of those markings look a bit reminiscent of the famous PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish? Even more interesting is that some similarly marked Maroons have been found around Fishermen’s Island in Papua New Guinea in the past as reported on The Lightning Project — what does it all mean?
We did some digging and discovered that the parents of these fish are normally-barred, captive-bred Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish. Hoang told Reef Builders, “I had the pair in my 300-gallon reef for two years and recently noticed they kept cleaning the liverock next to their RBTA (Red Bubble Tip Anemone). One day after the lights were off for two to three hours, I saw they were sleeping in their anemone, so I took out the nest and caught them. I put them in my sump-situated brookstock tank (it’s a section my sump set aside for them — the space is about 6 in. x 18 in. x 18 in.). After three months, they laid eggs.” Apparently, it took a few tries to get babies, but imagine how Mike was feeling when his 3.5 week old babies looked like this:
It will be very interesting to see how these babies grow up, and for the person who’s into unusual clownfish, you can bet if Hoang chooses to release any of these offspring, they’ll be snatched up and loved by the folks who get them.
These unique fish also brought up a topic that was a recurring theme at MACNA earlier this month — the naming of new marine fish variants. These babies have, so far, had the name “Teardrop”, then “Thunder” Maroon, but based on what we currently know, similar babies produced by Sustainable Aquatics as early as 2007 were called “Goldflake” Maroons. For more on the naming discussion, check out the expanded coverage of Hoang’s Goldflake Maroon Clownfish on The Lightning Project. Still, it could be entirely premature to apply any name to these just yet. Take another look – is there is that outside chance they could all grow up and look like the Lighting Maroon?
Congratulations Mike, and thanks for sharing your fish with us! You can follow Mike’s progress in breeding clownfish over at MarshReef.com. He does plan to mate the two best ones from this batch – we are excited to see what they produce. Since they could take years, for now you’ll have to settle for a few more baby pictures — because we ALL love baby pictures, right?