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Goby Egg Laying and Fertilization

March 2, 2011

The aquaculture team has been hard at work this past week collecting sharknose gobies.  The fish are placed in pairing tanks and observed for pairing behavior.  In about 3 weeks we should have a few more pairs to add to our already very prolific broodstock.  Here is a video of our first pair laying their 5th(!) clutch in a little more than a month.

The male is visible first, guarding the nest while the females deposits sticky eggs on the roof of their PVC home. Then they switch places so the male can fertilize the eggs. The large bellied female, on the left, will then deposit more eggs with her jerky movements across top of their “cave”. The male will follow again to fertilize. They take a quick rest before another round of laying. The male is suddenly offended by the camera and comes to stand guard. He will provide most of the parental care during incubation, guarding the nest from intruders, cleaning algal and fungal growth, and fanning the eggs with his tail to keep them well oxygenated.

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