Chrysiptera starki

Chrysiptera starki

Postby Witt » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:17 am

Since rambling is often useful and creates a log to fall back on I thought it best to start a new thread. Chrysiptera starki; bold, beautiful and worthy of a mention on a captive bred list. The first challenge facing breeders is acquiring a heterosexual pair. When I see this species offered for sale it is generally only one at a time and separated by months of time. Let the games begin. Matt Pederson suggested sexual dimorphism might occur in this species and forwarded a picture posted on LiveAquaria. My thoughts: I believe C. starki to be 'primarily' sexually monomorphic. I would not expect there to be drastic dimorphism in this species. Maybe some dichromatism during breeding, but I wouldn't expect much. I would expect males to be somewhat larger, and probably quite difficult to assign based on size without knowing age, location etc. Males probably slimmer profile and thinner. Females, maybe higher in body and more robust. Here is a picture of C. starkii taken by J. Randall (it is posted on fishbase). I think this image gives good clues of what to expect
Image
I believe the fish in the "female" LiveAquaria post to be C. flavippinis. At this point who knows, but it seems to have some great differences, especially the eye and nape. Check these pics out of C. flavipinnis. Photo credit is on the pics. These shots illustrate plasticity of color and shape.
Image
Image
So now we have difficulty not only identifying sex, but species. It makes it more interesting. I would love to see more photos of pairs.
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Postby mpedersen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:22 pm

I need to agree with Witt's assertion that the fish sold by LiveAquaria.com as a "Female" Starkii damselfish was quite possibly a different species (C. flav..).

For those in the Chicago area, I belive the starkii's that are in the main coral tank at Sea Schor are a pair, and both look the same, having the same coloration.

Tropicorium would be a GREAT source of info on this, as they USED to have a BREEDING PAIR (sold last year for $150). I believe they may currently have a mated pair.

Unlike all the other damselfish, the Starkii is rather expensive at retail, technically more expensive than A. ocellaris, which means that there IS potentially SOME method to recoup your investment. That would never happen doing C. paresema.

One thing that's always puzzled me but I've never tried to answer...with Damselfish being so closely related to the freshwater Cichlids, why don't we see more variations like we see in places like Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria. The answer must be the pelagic larvae vs. direct development of the FW fish.

On the costs side of things, the investment isn't much more than what someone might invest to do something like setting up some Flame Angelfish. It's not too far off, and has a far better chance of succeeding!

Matt
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Postby mpedersen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:29 pm

BTW, the biggest obstacle is finding broodstock in any kind of quanitity. If you're looking at local shops, tyipcally you'll see these bad boys one at a time. If you purchase online, you don't get to see your fish in advance and try to "pick out a pair" and most online vendors won't handle any size requests (i.e. giving you the 2 largest and 2 smallest of all availables).

I've also heard that Starkii's are exceptionally nasty towards conspecifs...of course that is presumeably not entirely accurate, it is probably that two fish of the same sex go ballistic on one another in a small tank.

FWIW,

Matt
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Postby mpedersen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:36 pm

Sorry for the multiple responses...I'm in the office today AND my computer has been dying lately, so having to post short messages when/where I can.

My next thought is regarding LiveAquaria.com. The image that I sent to Witt is a small fish, .75", and does indeed look a lot like C. flavippinis, but was listed as a "female" C. starkii. Subsequently, no less than 10 C. starkii have been listed in the "Diver's Den" section of the LiveAquaria.com website, and ALL have been listed as "MALE". All of them follow what you'd commonly think of as a "standard" C. starkii. Meanwhile, listings of C. flavippinis have started showing up as well.

I think we're in a situation where someone is simply going to have to invest in 6 C. starkii - total investment @ retail would be around $220 when you include shipping, VENT and PHOTOGRAPH them on arrival (just in case there's dimorphism in the genital papilla), maybe do finclips for ID, and then throw them into a tank and watch what happens.

I should also mention that way back in the day, when I cherry picked the local wholesalers for marine fish for a retail shop, all C. starkii were held in small cubes individually; isolation is the norm for this pricey damselfish when it shows up at the wholesalers, which makes it more difficult to assertain a pair at that point. Same problem with fish like Opistignathos rosenblatti I suspect.

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Postby Witt » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:03 pm

Good thoughts Matt. I just got back from the fish shop where I was going to initiate my Starki experience. My choices were 1 starki or 8 bundoon blennies. I went with the bundoons. I put my order for 10 starki in and should be up and running next week.
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Re:

Postby mpedersen » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:10 pm

Witt wrote:Good thoughts Matt. I just got back from the fish shop where I was going to initiate my Starki experience. My choices were 1 starki or 8 bundoon blennies. I went with the bundoons. I put my order for 10 starki in and should be up and running next week.


8 Bundoons...lucky! 10 Starkii's...jealous ;)

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Postby DThom » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:28 pm

Actually just got off the phone with Tropicorium. I did not talk to Ray, who apparently knows more about the pairs, but they did say that the males and females do not look different. He said they got them in as collected pairs.

FYI - they do not currently have any pairs in stock.
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Postby Clownfish75 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:44 pm

There are 2 collectors of Starcks damsels here in australia, i know one very well and have asked about this before.

First off i have never seen any variation in starcks colouration from these collected individuals, i have howvere seen these other colours pictured normal as imported starcks.

All the starcks i have seen 100+ at a time are all different sizes and all exactly the same colour. I have considered tryign to spawn them, perhaps 10-20 in a 6ft tank might yeild some spawning behvaiour.

Personally i would prefer to try Orange Tail Blues as they are so easy to pair and spawn readily, but thats just me, althought the financial aspect of starcks does sound much more appealing.

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Re:

Postby mpedersen » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:20 am

Witt wrote:I put my order for 10 starki in and should be up and running next week.


WELL???! Should I be expecting to place an order for CB broodstock from you next spring??? ;)

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Postby Witt » Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:19 pm

Too early to tell... I have had my hands full with a few other projects and fell behind on the broodstock. My goal is to be up and running within a couple weeks. I have been observing quite a few at the local shops and think size might be a really good clue to the sexes.
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Postby Witt » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:04 pm

A quick update and one that attests to the fact that nothing is easy in this game. Starki were on special this week from a wholesaler in FL. I got 5...site unseen. Within 1 day all were dead - emaciated and just plain riddled with maladies. I then purchased one fish from a local retailer; beautiful, healthy fish. So I now have 1 lonely starki and a heck of a negative budget so far.
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Re:

Postby mpedersen » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:54 pm

Witt wrote:A quick update and one that attests to the fact that nothing is easy in this game. Starki were on special this week from a wholesaler in FL. I got 5...site unseen. Within 1 day all were dead - emaciated and just plain riddled with maladies. I then purchased one fish from a local retailer; beautiful, healthy fish. So I now have 1 lonely starki and a heck of a negative budget so far.


Sounds like the luck a lot of us have been having with Royal Grammas lately!

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Re: Chrysiptera starki

Postby "Umm, fish?" » Tue May 04, 2010 6:12 pm

Witt, I think there's a possibility of sex change in these. See here: http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=171&t=7134
Andy

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