Will captive-bred flamboyant cuttlefish make it into the trade?

By Todd Gardner 10 years agoNo Comments

It’s been almost two years since Allison Petty first successfully closed the life cycle of Metasepia pfefferi at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, NY (http://www.reefsmagazine.com/forum/reefs-magazine/100522-rearing-flamboyant-cuttlefish.html).  Her continued success with this project has provided us with more than enough cuttlefish to keep them on display ever since.  As with other cultured marine life, when we end up with a surplus, it’s a great opportunity to do some trading with other public aquaria.   Allison has been trading cuttlefish out to institutions around the country for more than seven months now and it seems that the public aquarium market for these little gems may be getting saturated.  Since she is still raising more of them than we can realistically house here, we have begun to discuss the idea of using them to barter with a few of the marine life wholesalers from which we obtain some of our display specimens.

Metasepia pfefferi

If we decide to go ahead with this plan, it would mean the first ever public availability of captive bred flamboyant cuttlefish. Don’t expect them to be very affordable though.  When we calculate the cost of the live mysid shrimp and man hours that went into raising them, it becomes clear that we will never break even.  Also, it should be pointed out that these colorful little cephs will come with a strict expert-only restriction as they demand live food, perfect water quality and a dedicated tank.  In the meantime, enjoy these videos of the babies and their parents at feeding time and start thinking about where you might want to put that new cuttlefish tank.


Adult M pfefferi

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  Aquaculture, Cephalopods

 Todd Gardner

  (71 articles)

Todd Gardner is a professor of marine biology at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, NY. His life and his career have both been shaped by his passion for marine life and he has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. Todd’s professional background includes work on a National Geographic documentary, commercial aquaculture at C-quest Hatchery in Puerto Rico, and an 11-year term at the Long Island Aquarium where he spent much of his time developing techniques for rearing marine fish larvae. To date he has raised more than 50 species. In 2013 Todd received the prestigious Aquarist of the Year Award from the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA). In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, runs marathons, and plays in a blues band.

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