ORA is certainly in the fast lane this fall bringing new species into captive culture. Their Halloween evening announcement of captive-bred Orbic Cardinalfish, arguably was timed perfectly to get lost in the end of the week, holiday madness. Trying to slide one past us no doubt!
Sure, it’s not a real looker; we might even go so far as to call this the “poor man’s Pajama Cardinalfish”, but even that sibling species, Sphaeremia nematoptera, isn’t breaking anyone’s bank. Still, Orbic Cardnalfish have remained in the hobby for decades, and we’re sure that someone, somewhere, really love this species. The breeding of this species isn’t really about the money; this is a statement species. A species meant to prove a point – “We were the first to tackle the entire Assessor genus with the production of the Yellow, Randall’s and Blue Assessor. With the Orbic Cardinal and Pajama Cardinal, we’ve now completed the entire Sphaeramia genus.”
In reading through ORA’s official announcement, something far more bold and groundbreaking was “snuck” in there, underneath the radar, as they discussed the several species of cardinalfish they now have in production. As ORA stated, “our production of [Pajama Cardinalfish] is now at a scale capable of replacing wild collection.”
We’ll let that statement sink in as we contemplate the very real, and arguably inevitable shift, that’s going to happen with the supply of marine aquarium fish in the trade.