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Satanoperca acuticeps
A Photo Diary
by Lee Newman

Over the last several weeks, I've had a pair of S. acuticeps almost constantly engaged in pit-digging and courtship displays, but so far - nothing. About a week and a half ago, a second pair set up (with the associated pits in the sand) at the opposite end of the 180 gallon aquarium the group of seven S. acuticeps are housed in. Last Thursday evening, we noticed that the smaller of the two fish (of the second pair) had dramatically changed colour - its lips were black, the three lateral blotches were now full vertical bars, with half bars in between with black leading edges on the dorsal and anal fins. It was also fanning...eggs!

Both the male and female were involved in egg tending and territory defence - although the male took greater responsibility in the defence of the spawning territory. Two days later, on Saturday, the eggs hatched. Again, both adults were very attentive to the brood.

When we arrived home from work tonight, the fry, about 150, were free-swimming. We siphoned off about half of the brood, to ensure some chance in rearing some, as well as leaving some with the pair to watch the brooding behaviour.

Satanoperca acuticeps female with eggs
Satanoperca acuticeps female with eggs
Satanoperca acuticeps pair with eggs
Satanoperca acuticeps pair with eggs

One Month Later:
The pair have "broken up", and the male has already spawned with another female (the fry from that spawning should be free-swimming on Friday). The original female has also paired with another fish - in the same spawning pit as the first spawning! When it rains, it pours! □

Satanoperca acuticeps female with fry
Satanoperca acuticeps female with fry
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