Reproductive Biology

Males clean the undersides of rocks, corals, or shells to prepare the surface for eggs. The male swims in front of the female and entices her into the shell or crevice. Spawning occurs with the male and female quivering side-by-side, depositing the eggs on the ceiling of the nest. Individuals can spawn multiple clutches, several times within a month. The eggs are about 0.08 in (2 mm) long, and 0.04 in (1 mm) wide. About 300-450 eggs are deposited in a nest about 0.5 sq in (3 sq cm). The pair remains together while caring for the eggs. The male guards the nest and presumably circulates oxygen-rich water over the eggs, using his pectoral and caudal fins. Eggs hatch in 7-10 days. Larvae are 0.16 in (4 mm) at hatching, and the parents do not care for the fry.

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