Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love is in the air with our Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers!

All of us at PTMSC fell in love with our two new little fish a few months ago when they were caught off our dock during a class. The little lumpsuckers have been doing well in our little aquarium and everyone has loved watching them swim around and feed. The lumpsuckers are especially loving homecrew days when they get fed krill and small pieces of fish. They start swimming near the surface during cleaning, evidently getting excited to catch some krill in their tiny mouths! However, these cute fish soon turned into chubby lumpsuckers. It turns out one of them wasn't fat at all, but instead was PREGNANT!
During homecrew today we found an orange lump of eggs (seen in the picture below). We were all very excited at the thought of little baby lumpsuckers filling the tanks.

According to an aquarist at the Seattle Aquarium female lumpsuckers will lay their eggs and choose a male to fertilize them. Our only hope for babies is if the other lumpsucker is a male and the female picks him to fertilize her eggs. We will have to wait to see what happens!

Our lumpsuckers have gotten so much attention and love from all of our staff, volunteers, and visitors that we tried one night on a low tide to go seining for them. Two of us snorked in the eelgrass bed while the others siened for them. Sadly we had no luck but maybe we will try again?
Happy Valentine's Day for the Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers and all the animals at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center!

Valerie Lindborg
Lab Coordinator

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