Research Program Area
The research program area was started January 26, 2007. We are still working on obtaining startup funding and equipment to expand this effort. Learning the life history characteristics of coral reef-associated organisms is critical to understanding how to maintain and breed them in captivity. Collaborative efforts on understanding the biology of these animals should reduce the cost of breeding them in captivity and provide opportunities for large-scale captive breeding efforts.
Species Being Researched
Trochus stellatus is a popular marine aquarium snail, but it is rarely bred and imported from the wild in small numbers. Learning how to captive breed Trochus stellatus in large numbers could reduce the need to import cold water and temperate snails for the marine aquarium industry. With a non-feeding larva, it should be one of the easiest gastropods to breed in captivity.
Manicina areolata is an Atlantic ocean stony coral species that is rarely available in the marine aquarium industry and can only be legally harvested from live rock aquaculture sites. While little is known about this species, it is known to be a brooding coral and it could be an excellent candidate for captive breeding. Basic husbandry and monitoring of the annual breeding cycle are the first steps in understanding its life history characteristics in captivity.
Pocillopora damicornis should be the first coral attempted by new coral breeders. The coral is a well documented brooder and sexual recruits are frequently spotted in marine aquariums. With Pocillopora damicornis‘ tendency to produce planulae year round, it is an excellent coral for examining ways of improving planulae capture in captivity and for hobbyists to have easy success with breeding their first coral.