Gramma melacara GRAMEL-091093-CQUEST-001

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 1st, 1994 and is filed under Grammas, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry© Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.


Breeder ID: GRAMEL-091093-CQUEST-001

Date received: 9/1/94

Identification:Gramma melacara (Böhlke & Randall, 1963)

Geographic origin: Bahamas


Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata

Class Osteichthyes Superorder Teleostei

Order Perciformes Suborder Percoidei

Family Grammatidae (=Grammidae)

Genus Gramma

Species melacara (Böhlke & Randall, 1963)


Duration (yr): 1.5

Size (mm): var

Duration (yr): 1.5

Size (mm): var

Broodstock notes: a total of 75 basslets were paired up. Aggression reduced the numbers to 22 pairs, then eventually down to only 12 pairs.

Physical differences: Male is larger and more aggressive

Adult diet: Chopped frozen seafood: conch, squid, octopus, shrimp, clams and krill, fed 4 times per day

Pre-spawning activity: Male entices female into nest (hole) by approaching the female and then going back into the hole. The hole is   “decorated” with algae and/or pieces of substrate.

Time spawning began: Midday

Area spawning occurred: Inside nest (a 1″ hole drilled in a concrete brick)

Frequency of spawning: Daily

Egg description: not indicated

Approximate quantity: 1 – 250

Size: not indicated

Egg changes / development: not indicated

Incubation period:7 days

Time hatching occurred: ~ 1 hour after dark

Size of hatching larvae: 3 mm

Yolk sac present?: not indicated

Newly hatched appearance: 4 spots and large mouths

Transfer / removal method: Siphoning into bucket


Spawning tank size (liter): 64

Sides of tank covered? Not indicated

Lighting & photo period: Natural

Filtration: Multiple types

Additives and dosages: none, natural seawater

Water temperature (F):68 – 94 F

Specific gravity: 1.019

pH: 8.3

Nitrate: very low


Fry development / changes: Metamorphosis occurs at 21 – 35 days

First food offered: rotifers, fed on Nannochloropsis sp. and Isochrysis sp. Enough to keep tank water slightly green

Second food offered: Artemia nauplii, day 9 – 10

Survival : average 110 per hatch. Survival not indicated, but easy to raise.


Comments: This fish is difficult to spawn, but easy to raise.

Word origin: The genus Gramma is from the Greek word Gramm, – a, -at meaning a letter or writing. The species melacara is from the Greek roots melaen meaning black or blacken, and car, =a, meaning the head or top. Thus the common name Blackcap basselet. The family Grammatidae is referred to in some references as Grammidae. Nelson (1984) lists Grammatidae. This species was described by Bohlke & Randall in , Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 1963 vol. 115 : 43 Fig. 3. Based on specimen(s) collected about 1/2 mi. north of the west end of Treasure Island (Salt Cay), New Providence area, Bahamas, at a depth of 165 ft.

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 1993

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