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Yellow Brotulid

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 12:16 am by

The mysterious Yellow Brotulid, Dinematichthys sp., has been called by many different common and scientific names. It may be called Yellow Dusky Brotulid, Yellow Pygmy Brotulid, or Yellow Eel Goby. It’s been identified as Brotulina fusca and Diancistrus fuscus, but is likely Dinematichthys riukiuensis or Dinematichthys randalli. The Yellow Brotulid has a long body and bullet shaped head with a large mouth and small, close-set eyes. The dorsal and anal fins run nearly the entire length of the body and undulate like ribbons when the fish swims. The caudal and pectoral fins are small and triangular.

The Yellow Brotulid is sometimes mistaken for a goby, but is actually an ovoviviparous fish of the family Bythitidae. Instead of laying eggs, Brotulids give birth to live young in much the same way that guppies do. The newborn fry are highly developed and much larger than the larvae of egg-laying marine fishes and are easily raised on frozen brine shrimp and cyclop-eeze. The gender of adults is easily determined, as the male has a fleshy, crescent shaped pouch which contains rounded claspers and sexual organs.

The Yellow Brotulid is a nocturnal, cryptic fish that will rarely or never been seen by the aquarist during the day. Many hobbyists who have added Brotulids to large aquariums with dense rock work report never seeing the Brotulid again until tearing the tank down years later. Smaller aquariums around 30 gallons with PVC tubing, flowerpots, or easily accessible rock work make an ideal home. Meals of frozen mysis, brine shrimp, and other meaty foods should be target fed directly to the Brotulid daily. There have been reports from hobbyists that some Brotulids will eat small bristleworms. Yellow Brotulids are not particularly sensitive to changes in water quality and can live for many years in captivity.

They are very peaceful and make great tank mates for even the most delicate, peaceful fish. Since the Yellow Brotulid is so cryptic, it won’t be bothered by most fish. Avoid aggressive fish or those large enough to consume the Brotulid. Brotulids are social and enjoy being kept in pairs or groups. Territorial disputes may occur if a new Brotulid is added to a tank with an existing Brotulid, but are usually not serious and only last a short time.

photos by Felicia McCaulley

Minimum Tank Size:30 Gallons
Care Level:Easy
Reef Safe:Yes
Water Parameters:67-79° F, dKH 8-12,
pH 8.1-8.4,
sg 1.020-1.026
Max Size:3.5"
Felicia has been keeping aquariums since the early 90s and has a keen interest in taxonomy, aquaculture, and seahorses. she is the former Liveaquaria Diver's Den photographer and now works for Philadelphia area's largest aquarium specialty store The Hidden Reef.

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