Juvenile Metasepia are Awesome

by | Jul 20, 2012 | Conservation, Events, Eye Candy, Invertebrates, Opinion, Too Cute | 0 comments

A 1 cm captive bred Flamboyant cuttlefish prepares to strike at prey

The Marine Breeding Initiative’s 2012 workshop is next weekend, so the timing to share a pic of a captive breeding success story.

Metasepia spp have long been thought of as one of the ultimate aquarium display animals. Their colors and patterns that continually change and move across their skin make their common name obvious – the Flamboyant Cuttle. The problem? The only live about a year, and they have traditionally shipped poorly which means if you are lucky enough to get one that survived shipping, its probably near the end of its natural lifespan anyway. Captive breeding would be a no brainer, except getting brood stock has been near impossible because on the rare occasions these animals do get imported, the get imported in single digits.

That changed several years ago when a shipment of about a dozen animals came through and were distributed to ceph heads at 2 public aquariums. Those animals were successfully bred, shared with other public aquariums and now we have several generations of captive bred animals at several institutions.

Without captive breeding, these animals would have only been a flash in the pan display, but due to the dedication of aquarists and the commitment to captive breeding on the part of public aquariums, we are well on our way to establishing a potentially stable captive bred population.

Captive breeding is fun, educational, beautiful, and holds the potential for anyone involved to make  cutting edge breakthroughs and observations – 4 really good reasons to give it a try yourself.

For more info on the Flamboyant story, click here and here.

  • Rich Ross

    Richard Ross currently works as an Aquatic Biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences, maintaining many exhibits including the 212,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef. He has kept saltwater animals for over 25 years, and has worked in aquarium maintenance, retail, wholesale and has consulted for a coral farm/fish collecting station in the South Pacific. Richard enjoys all aspects of the aquarium hobby and is a regular author for trade publications, a frequent speaker at aquarium conferences and was a founder of one of the largest and most progressive reef clubs in Northern California, Bay Area Reefers. He is an avid underwater videographer and has been fortunate to scuba dive in a lot of places around the world. At home he maintains a 300 gallon reef system and a 250 gallon cephalopod/fish breeding system, and was one of the first people to close the life cycle of Sepia bandensis. When not doing all that stuff, he enjoys spending time with his patient wife, his incredible daughter and their menagerie of animals, both wet and dry.


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