Just yesterday we published our 2013 Marine Breeding Year in Review, part II, which included speculation and a short update about Sustainable Aquatic’s Longfin Ocellaris breeding project. At the time the review was written in late December, Sustainable had just announced a hatch from their normal ocellaris female, and longfin male.
Well, a lot can change in two weeks, because we no longer have to guess about the genetic nature of the longfin clownfish. The verdict is in – Sustainable Aquatics shared the first grainy photo documenting the undeniable proof that their discovery of a “longfin” clownfish paid off, as the trait is being passed down to the offspring produced by the singular original fish, which has been dubbed “Mr. Longfin” these days. In other words, the Long Fin mutation is heritable, aka. it’s GENETIC! Not a one-off, not a one of a kind, but something that you will see more of in the future.
We can hear the elation, as well as the utter despair (and see your face-palm), on the other side of the screen. Love it or hate it, you cannot deny it. Longfin Ocellaris truly clinched it = Guppy of the Marine Breeding world!
The official Sustainable Aquatics commentary posted on Facebook proclaimed, “Here is a picture of a 20 day old fish showing the longfin traits of his father, Mr. Longfin! So we know now that at least some of the progeny will carry the father’s long fin trait! We think it is a crowntail type of variant. At this age, the tail is still growing and developing and has not taken up much pigment and is hard to see. Up till this time, these post larval clown fish swim with movements of their body more than the tail. At about 40 days, the tail is developed and they start swimming as mature fish. We suspect that this trait will not be very noticeable till the fish are 4–70 days old. Mr. Longfin is on his third nest and the productive pair appear to be set for three nests a month.”
Nothing else has been shared yet, but we look forward to Sustainable’s hopefully full disclosure of what they find in their offspring in terms of heredity / offspring counts. This information will be a valuable addition to the developing understanding of designer clownfish genetic mutations as the interest group continues to evolve (in this author’s opinion, preferably in a direction that includes genetic transparency).
Some of you may recall that Sustainable Aquatics issued a challenge to the public to come up with the official trade name for this variant, should it be produced and marketed. No word yet on what Sustainable Aquatics settled on in terms of “official name”, but one thing is for sure, SA has earned the right to name this mutation whatever they want, and that should be the name used going forward. Let’s just hope it’s not something too offbeat, like the “Electric Fancy Pants” gene…
Congratulations to the breeders at Sustainable for finding a true needle in a haystack, and pursuing the project to its logical next step. Additional kudos for sharing the story as it happens, so we all get to go along for the ride!