Meet the “lumpsuckerlings!”
As you might imagine, rearing baby lumpsuckers from eggs is a challenging process. But Seattle Aquarium staff have found success for a long time and have contributed to the larger community’s general understanding of this adorable fish species’ early needs. Since 1978, the Aquarium has documented ways of rearing larval lumpsuckers, including releasing several hundred six-month old, Aquarium-raised lumpsuckers to the San Juan Islands back in 1995.
Female lumpsuckers typically lay their eggs in an empty barnacle shell, where a male then takes on guard duty. In the care of humans, hatched larval lumpsuckers will usually eat brine shrimp nauplii (larval brine shrimp), but finding the ideal food source can be a sticky task for aquarists as the fish develop.
The most recent clutch of hatched lumpsuckers at the Seattle Aquarium are currently six weeks old and are thriving on a diet of rotifers (microscopic animals) and newly hatched nauplii. Ultimately, they will be introduced to previously frozen food like euphasids (shrimp-like, planktonic marine crustaceans related to krill).
Red octopus hatchlings
After six months of incubating behind the scenes, a clutch of Pacific red octopus (Octopus rubescens) eggs hatched and were sent on their way back out to Puget Sound. Aquarium staff allowed the larval octopuses to freely flow through the outflow since they will have the best chance of survival in the wild.