The Rising Tide model of experimental breeding continues to prove its value, as the team at University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Lab are taking down captive-bred species firsts like it’s going out of style. Images released yesterday depict post metamorphosis Orbicular Batfish that should now start growing very tall, very quickly.
The larvae for this species of batfish were originally collected at the Shedd Aquarium by Odalis Garcia. It took several shipping trials to find success. Ultimately, shipped eggs hatched out rather large for a pelagically-spawned species, measuring 3.2 mm in length. The two reports from Rising Tide demonstrate robust growth on rotifers and copepod naulpii, with the Orbics completing metamorphosis at only 18 days post hatch. This batfish species could represent some of the easiest pelagic-spawning marine fish to rear, if only you could house the massive broodstock of adult batfish.
It’s difficult to pin down whether this represents another “species first”, but a quick research did not turn up anything on breeding Platax sp. other than P. pinnatus, which we first reported on less than 2 years ago. Dr. Wittenrich tells us this is not a first; apparently there has been progress with P. orbicularis in France. Still, this batfish breeding is all very, very new for everyone. I can tell you with assurance that the Marine Breeding Initiative’s success list just got one-fish species longer.
Oh, and no small footnote here – credit where it’s due – this success represents the hard work of Eric Cassiano! Eric may be a new name to the aquarium world, but I think we’re all standing back in awe already. Why not go meet him at this year’s Marine Breeding Initiative Workshop, where he one of four speakers slated for 2012!
For more details on the captive breeding and rearing of Platax orbicularis, the Orbic Batfish, see these Rising Tide blog entries: