Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature


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[edit] Overview

The Livebearing (Viviparous) Brotulas are eel-like, cryptic bottomdwellers that occasionally become available to marine aquarists. They have elongate bodies that are slightly compressed. Scales are usually present, as well as swim bladders. Most have pronounced preopercular spines, rounded pectoral fins, small eyes, and pelvic fins that are elongate filaments. They swim by undulating the edges of their dorsal and anal fins. Some of these fishes can attain over 70 cm (27.5 in.) in length.

Most occur in marine habitats, although five species have been found in brackish and/or freshwater. Some occur in coral reef habitats, others around rocky reefs, and one genus—with blind and poor-sighted species—occurs in limestone caves and sinkholes.


Native range:

Taxonomic rank: Family


Total known Total profiles
Subfamilies 0 0
Genera 31 0
Species 90 0

Captive care: Livebearing brotulas are rare in the aquarium trade, and those that do show up are quite secretive. In a large aquarium with numerous hiding places, the aquarist may never spot the brotula after introducing it. An appropriate system is small, with one or two easily observed hiding places.

Feeding: Brotulas in the wild thrive on a diet of crustaceans and will eat ornamental shrimps if they are present in an aquarium system. Feed live or frozen brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, or shreds of table shrimp, being sure the food gets to the brotula. Feeding in a darkened aquarium may be necessary.

Notes: It may be necessary to mount a red light over the aquarium or to use a flashlight that emits a red beam to view the brotula at night.

[edit] Subfamilies


[edit] Genera


[edit] Species