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FAQs on the Combtooth Blenny Reproduction

Related Articles: True or Combtooth Blennies, Ecsenius BlenniesSabretooth Blennies, Family Blenniidae/Tribe Nemophini, Tube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,  

Related FAQs:  Combtooth Blennies 1, Combtooth Blennies 2Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Ecsenius BlenniesSaber-Tooth Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives, Tube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,

It takes two to tango...

Breeding blennies 2/13/12
Hello WWM Crew :) My name is Kate. At the urging of my LFS manager, I have been doing some research, because my blennies have spawned in my 120g reef system. One of the proud parents (dad I believe) was purchased as a Tribal Blenny, which I have seen listed online as both Atrosalarias sp and Ecsenius sp. Can you tell me which is correct?
<I too have seen this fish/species attributed to both genera. Fishbase.org does not have it in either genus... the head, dorsal fin (being singular) to me appears more like Atrosalarias>
The other proud parent is a Bicolor Blenny, which is definitely Ecsenius, yes?
<Yes; as far as common names go, matching up sometimes w/ scientific>
 First, if the Tribal Blenny is Atrosalarias sp, could it reproduce with a Bicolor Blenny?
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
 If not, then I believe mine to be a Black Combtooth Blenny (Ecsenius namiyei), which could reproduce with a Bicolor Blenny, yes?
<I don't know if this is possible either>
 Second, is this a rare event?
<Mmm, first time I've read of it>
 I read "not recorded in captivity" in regards to breeding Bicolor Blennies.  Third, will this pairing produce a bunch of "mystery blennies"?
<Don't know what you mean>
 The manager of my LFS stopped by my home to observe the fry and suggested that I find a quality forum to post this information to. I am quite excited and having a ball observing the goings on in my aquarium. So, even if it is not a big deal to the world of aquaria, I'm still thrilled! I have 3 large barnacle clusters where the fry seem to find plenty of shelter and lots of copepods. They are also found bottom dwelling and among the rocks. They are at least 3 weeks old, and appear to be very active and thriving. I don't think it will be possible to remove the fry to another system, so I'm not sure how many, if any, will ultimately survive. Other tank inhabitants include: Regal Tang, Yellow Tang, a mated pair of Ocellaris Clownfish (initially suspected parents) with Bubble Tip Anemone, Flame Angel, Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp, Scooter Blenny, various members of the clean up crew, and soft corals. Thank you for your time, Kate.
<Thank you for your report. Please do follow up in time w/ photos of all.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Breeding blennies, Tribal ID
Hello Bob and WWM Crew, Thanks for responding to my questions. I have an update and need to clarify one of my earlier questions.  So, I have a Bicolor Blenny whose scientific name is Ecsenius Bicolor. I also have a fish
that was purchased as a Tribal Blenny, and I'm not really sure of its scientific name. 
<Am glad you've written back. Yesterday I was up visiting friends in the wholesale trade and spoke w/ Robert at Quality Marine. They have this fish listed as Ecsenius namiyei>
These two have definitely reproduced in my 120g reef tank.
Can fish of a different genus reproduce?
<Mmm, strictly speaking this is rare... Do consider that species and genera are human constructs... change-able; and that there are variations/extents of species distinctness... IT may be that these two Ecsenius species are "close enough" genetically to inter-breed>
 Is it more likely that I have a Bicolor Blenny and a Black Combtooth Blenny, since they are both Ecsenius?
I also asked earlier whether the offspring produced will be "mystery blennies".  I have seen some fish labeled as "mystery blenny",
<Oh! This is most often just a label applied to species unknown... a dative case for the trade for species no one can easily identify... sort of like "Miscellaneous">
 and am just not sure what that means. As of yet, I have not photographed the fry, at least not very well. My LFS suggested siphoning some out into a glass to get pictures, which I may do when they are a little bigger. Here's the update:
they are at it again, spawning.  I now know the "Tribal Blenny" to be the female, and the Bicolor Blenny to be the male.  I have attached a link to a video (I hope that is OK).
   Can you help me identify the female? I have had some communication with Fishbase as well.  It's quite exciting!  Thanks for your time, and forgive the Coralline Algae and the Scooter Blenny for interfering with the video, haha. Here is the link
http://youtu.be/RJf8_CrMMzI  Kate :)
<I cannot sex these fishes externally. BobF>

Wrasses (and blennies), species sel. for science, repro.    2/26/10
Dear WWM,
I am a researcher at the University of Vienna, Austria, and we are focusing on wrasses and blennies. For our research, we need to have a stock of embryos and fry, and so we are attempting to breed them. While of course living longer is preferred, at a minimum we need the fry to live 7-9 days post fertilization, so having multiple generations and success with rearing isn't a necessity. I am wondering if you have any insights into which species of wrasses (and blennies) are the easiest to breed. Any tips (or suggestions of books) would be greatly appreciated. So far we are considering Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (6 Line Wrasse) and Meiacanthus nigrolineatus (Black Line Fang Blenny). I have been told by some breeders that they sometimes see the 6 Line Wrasse breeding (even though they haven't reared any fry), and the Oceans, Reefs, & Aquariums company has had success breeding and rearing Black Line Blennies, which is why we are looking at these two species.
Thank you for your help,
Tim Peterson
<I have read a few anecdotal accounts (hobbyist) of "spontaneous" Labrid reproduction in captivity, and have observed a few genera apparently engaged in said behavior in the wild; but as far as I'm aware there are no commercially produced species. I do agree with your choice in a small species for trial. The Meiacanthus mentioned is produced by ORA for the trade... and is also a good candidate. This or a member of the genus Ecsenius would be my choice for size, ease of care, manipulation. Will you try hormonal injection/s? Or just environmental cues to bring on gametogenesis, release? The largest hurdle in these fishes captive production is provision of nutrition. Bob Fenner>
Tim Peterson, M.S.

Re: Wrasses (and blennies)  3/1/10
Dear Bob,
Thank you for the information, it's good to know we are at least on the right track with species choice. So far we had only thought to simulate the good / correct water, light, and food conditions to get them to spawn.
I had not heard of using hormonal injections on wrasses or blennies, and would not know which to use. Would you know where this information is available?
Best regards,
<Perhaps not with these families per se, but w/in journals that deal with aquaculture and endocrinology of fishes, lower vertebrates for decades now. Do a bibliographic search; you'll see very readily, that there is a huge body of information on this topic (hormonal manipulation of fishes for culture). Bob Fenner> 

Bay Blenny incubation period - 06/05/09
Hello WWM Crew!
My family and I are wondering if you could tell us what the approximate incubation period is of the Hypsoblennius gentilis (Bay Blenny of Southern California).
Thank you,
10-12 days depending on temp. Bob Fenner>

Barnacle Blenny Eggs Blenny Reproduction: 5/21/2009
<Hi Whitney>
I'm having trouble finding information on hatching barnacle blenny eggs, is it really just too tough?
<Not as daunting as theoretical physics, but certainly more vexing than raising guppies.>
A little about the system I have, its 70 gal, 40 gallon reef circulating water with a 30 gallon "display" refugium. In the reef tank I have 3 barnacle blennies. I just noticed this morning that inside one of the barnacles there are lots of tiny black dots lining the wall, then noticed they came in pairs of two along with a membrane around each set, eggs!!!
A blenny hangs out in the barnacle since I noticed the eggs and he (I assume) constantly is doing a funny wiggle trying to get fresh water around the eggs (I'm guessing).
<Likely so.>
The reef has strong current and bright lighting with lots of hiding spots.  The complete opposite in the refugium, some rockwork but mostly Caulerpa, Chaeto and various red macros in dense bunches. There is a chromis and Pseudochromis in the fuge and a percula, midas, and vlamingi in the reef. Question is should I leave him and the eggs in the reef and kind of forget any chance of raising them or could barnacle blennies hatch with just a bit of care and modification to one of the systems? Would I have to start a new tank to raise them?
<You would have to have a separate system, completely free of any predators, as well as rotifers, or other tiny foods for them to eat. DO read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm>
Thanks for your help!
<My pleasure>

Re: Barnacle Blenny Eggs Blenny Reproduction: 5/26/2009
Would I want to keep the adult blenny with them in the tank?
<Hi Whitney, No, you would want the eggs alone. The adult would likely eat them once they hatch.>

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