Larval rearing of the yellow anthias, Odontanthias fuscipinnis

October 01, 2013

Family: Serranidae > Subfamily: Anthiinae > Genus: Odontanthias > Species: O. fuscipinnis

Anthias (Anthiine serranids) are small to medium-sized, brightly colored reef fishes comprising 25 genera and over 200 species. They are planktivores and often form large schools above the reef while feeding. Their peaceful nature and vivid color patterns make them very popular in the aquarium trade. Anthias have not been aquacultured. 

The yellow anthias (Odontanthias fuscipinnis) is a rare, deepwater fish, endemic to Hawaii. It commands a high price in the aquarium trade.  O. fuscipinnis was reared from a small number eggs collected in December, 2012 in waters off Oahu.  Features of the larvae include an elongated second dorsal spine and pelvic fin rays; pronounced head spination; brown pigment spots below the dorsal fin; and red pigment blotches on the body. The larvae were fed copepod nauplii and were surprisingly easy to raise through transformation, despite being kept in a small culture tank (50L) together with multiple other species. The time from hatching through juvenile transformation was about 80 days but it is possible that the larval period could be shortened,  if the larvae are cultured in larger, single-species rearing systems. As the larvae make their transition to juveniles they rapidly loose the red pigmentations and take on the yellow coloration of the adults. The robust larvae and high value of O. fuscipinnis could make this species an excellent candidate for captive-breeding. This may be the first documented larval rearing of an anthias species.