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Brackish 20 Long Chesapeake Bay Aquarium


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#241 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:58 AM

Thank you Todd!


Kevin Wilson


#242 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 03 December 2018 - 09:34 AM

This is another male blenny that guards an empty oyster shell in the front left side of my tank.  Up until this video was shot two days ago, he had not yet spawned with the female, to my knowledge.  I went to feed my fish on that day, and the female shot out of the same oyster shell with him still inside.  I didn't capture it on video, but they must have just finished laying and fertilizing eggs.  I managed to grab my camera and capture him tending his eggs for the first time.  Once again, I just missed filming a blenny spawning event.
 
Since this blenny's shell is so close to the front of the tank, I was able to see a lot more.  The blenny that I previously took a video of guarding eggs is about 8" to the right of this guy.  The female blenny, meanwhile, looked really fat last night, so maybe I'll luck out and catch them in the act again soon.
 

Kevin Wilson


#243 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:48 AM

Last night, I ventured downstairs to feed my fish, and lo and behold, one of the oyster shells seen in previous videos that had a male striped blenny guarding eggs had company.  A female poked her head out of the shell, the ducked back inside.  At that point, I set my camera up on my tripod and began to film the event, despite my front glass having some algal growth on it, making the video a little blurry.  I apologize for that, but I didn't want to scare her out of the shell, so I felt it best to capture the moment and clean it later.  The angle that I had to use may also contribute to the blurriness, but that was the best way to see what was going on inside the shell.  Anyway, hope you enjoy this video of a pair of spawning striped blennies!
 

Kevin Wilson


#244 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:22 AM

As I reflect on that event, I think that my video is the first time that anyone has captured this species spawning on video, at least to my knowledge, and at least on YouTube. I've searched high and low for videos on striped blennies, and there aren't many of them, and none showing spawning activity of any kind. I'm kind of excited about it. 
 
My next goal is to catch the male successfully herding the female into the shell and begin the spawn. I've captured the herding activity, albeit unsuccessful, and I've captured the spawn successfully, but I want the entire event on film. I'm sure that I'll witness it, but having my camera ready is the key. I try and bring it with me each time I visit and watch my fish.
 
I'm sure that most people don't really care about this stuff (much like non-game fish in general), or how significant it is, and that's OK, because these fish, and many other temperate species aren't on many people's radar with regard to fish keeping. I feel obligated now to bring this and other wonderful temperate species into the public eye. If I can get a few other people excited about these fish (not just NANFA members), then awareness about them will increase for the sake of the species and oyster reefs in general. Why the need to do that? People who harvest oysters, even those involved in oyster conservation, just let bycatch species, like the species in my tank, fall out of the oyster baskets on dry land and just let them die, with little attempt to save them. I guess this is because they aren't "endangered" or "protected". Maybe if these people come across my videos, they'll see how cool these creatures are and give them the respect that they deserve. To all of those that follow my threads and videos, thank you for watching and participating. 

Kevin Wilson


#245 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 07 December 2018 - 04:35 PM

Here's another video, just cruising the tank, checking up on the fish...

Kevin Wilson


#246 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 10 December 2018 - 01:56 PM

I've posted a bunch of videos of late, and realized that I don't have that many recent pictures.  
 
A lot has changed in the last 6 months.  The fish are all full size adults now, and all three species are breeding.  They have their favorite shells that they hang out in, and don't stray far from them, especially the male blennies.  When these fish are guarding eggs, most of the time, only their heads peek out of their oyster shells.  They venture out and check out their perimeter of about a radius of 4", now and then, and further only at feeding time.  They will eat, then bolt back to their shell.  The female blenny is the lone exception, as she roams the tank and breeds with all of the males.  
 
Much of the tank range of these fish are determined by these established territories, and these territories seem to be based on a pecking order, with the blennies claiming the best spots and defending them rigorously, especially against each other.  However, since they don't stray far from their shell, confrontations are few.  
 
The three species, for the most part, tolerate each other except when a fish moves too close to their favorite shell, and is chased off.  The pecking order appears to be that the blennies are the most dominant, but pretty equal against each other, followed by the skilletfish but not far behind.  Male skilletfish tend to defend their shells rigorously as well.  The gobies are probably the least aggressive, but very brave, as they will put up a good defensive front against the other species and try to chase them away.  They tend to back down and flee if challenged in return, though.  
 
The females of each species are the most mobile and hold more vague territories, not necessarily restricted to a single shell.  Here are some recent pics:
 
Female striped blenny (Chasmodes bosquianus)
IMG_0408_zpshx1erfjk.jpg
 
Male striped blenny:
IMG_0406_zps4s9smqo2.jpg
 
Male striped blenny, guarding eggs:
IMG_0391_zpsfnsjahxb.jpg
 
Skilletfish (Gobiesox strumosus):
IMG_0396_zpsx7b4tzat.jpg
 
Female naked goby (Gobiosoma bosc), the males look the same but are a bit larger:
IMG_0389_zpssxkp4d6u.jpg

Kevin Wilson




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