[RML] desert gobies

Effie Howe (how168 at srcmain.dfst.csiro.au)
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 14:56:01 +1000 (EST)

Dear All,
I became very interested in the sexing of desert gobies in the last
couple of years. We initially bought 5 desert gobies from the ANGFA
conference in Canberra. Only one displayed male colourings. Since then we
have had several clutches of eggs. When I have kept up to 30 fish together I
have only seen one male in full colour. I wondered whether ther was a
dominant male that was coloured and if he disappeared whether another fish
might colour. Last summer I removed 10 fish showing no colour to another
tank. Within a few days one fish had developed strong male colourings. I
then removed five uncoloured fish from the 10 fish and one fish from this
developed colour. I thought as was suggested on email that only one male
fish was the dominant male or perhaps the females were changing sex. However
I talked to Cameron Bee and saw that in a tank that he had there were at
least 3 brightly coloured males. I wondered whether it might be useful to
fix the gonads of fish that show no colour to do some histology and
determine whether they had ovaries or testes. I suspect as others have
suggested that there is a dominant male and that the fish are not really
changing sex.
At the moment all my desert gobies are in together to save on the
heating. They all appear to have a black edge on their dorsal fins. I'm
pretty sure that during summer the females didn't have the black edge on
their dorsal fins.
I too find them a most intriguing little fish. Our 11 year old son has
already put in an order that when ever he leaves home he wants to take some
desert gobies with him.

Effie Howe