Breeding The Yellow Headed Jawfish

Here is a movie of the latest addition to my aquarium–a pair of yellow headed jawfish caught off the coast of Florida. I purchased these fish as a mated pair from a reputable eBay merchant. They appear to be somewhat comfortable in their new home, although only time will tell. You can see (what I presume to be) the male in the foreground, and the female in the background. They appear to occupy separate spaces during the day, but sleep in the male’s burrow through the night.

In the video, you can see both the male and female Yellow Headed Jawfish eagerly accepting Spirulina flakes manufactured by ZooMed. I expected them to be picky eaters, but they appear to enjoy the flake food (more so than the resident Banggai Cardinalfish, who is a snob for frozen or live foods).

The flake food works out well because the uneaten flakes get caught in the current better and stay in the feeding column longer (if they last). As a result, all the tank inhabitants, even the shy yell0w headed jawfish have a chance to feed. All my fish love mysis shrimp, but it is harder for these more timid jawfish to get a bite.

While initially very shy–almost to the point of invisibility, these fish are now quite enjoyable to watch as they bob up and down or in and out of their burrows.  The yellow headed jawfish still spook easily–they dart for cover any time the yellow tang comes near–but they appear to be settling in and are eager to take in a good meal.

For now, the goal is to fatten them up in preparation for spawning, as I hope to try and breed these fish. I know that breeding has been reported before, but they don’t appear to be commonly available by any of the commercial shops–that suggests to me unfortunately that they’re harder to rear than would seem to be the case from available information, but there is only one way to find out.

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