Clownfish Pair Playing Surrogates to Blenny Eggs

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You’ve all heard those stories about a female dog nursing a litter of kittens after the mother vanishes without a trace. Or how about those stories of domesticated animals caring for the lesser tamed zoo animals during the animal keepers’ time of desparation. These types of stories dot the media landscape, as they are usually feel good moments that make us all say “aww”. Well, we’ve got yet another one of these interesting cases of adoption, and of course it’s of the fishy kind. Some time back, our friend and local fish breeder, Mike Hoang, was given a deal on a “mated” pair of clownfish that he planned to add to his growing army of captive bred fish. He ventured over to the aquarium hobbyist’s home, but seeing the pair with their eggs, he knew something wasn’t quite right. The eggs in no way resembled clownfish eggs. Despite that, he still purchased the clownfish and relocated them and the eggs to his breeding setup to see if he could get them to hatch.

The clownfish tended to the eggs as if nothing were different, but after the eggs hatched, Mike noticed that the fry didn’t match the parents. Instead of being responsible parents to their own fry, the clownfish were actually caring for the offpsring of some type of blenny. That’s right, the clownfish were caring for eggs that they did not lay, and even saw the whole thing through to the end, when the blennies hatched.

Mike collected the blennies and placed the fry into their own tank, and after roughly 9 months, we see the blennies in the video immediately below.

To date, the blennies have not officially been identified by aquarium hobbyists down to the species level, but fellow breeder Matt Pedersen has an idea as to what they are and thinks this is the first time the species has been bred in captivity.

Regardless of the true identity of the fish, the fact that a bonded pair of clownfish cared for the eggs is amazing. One would think that they were practicing for their own batch of eggs, but according to Mike, they still haven’t mated.

Story taken from MARSH Reef.

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  • rbta

    looks like the blennys we collect off gulf coast in port aransas, tx

    • Mike

      I know the parents were collected in Galveston,Tx and the person who sold me this clown pair never show me tge blenny parents. I reared those blennies in the video from eggs till now and even have video from day 1 hatched till now.

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  • Depending on the outcome, they could just be the first pair of ranching clownfish…

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