Animal Updates – March 8

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Rainbow shiner fry!

Last month, the adult rainbow shiners in our Southern Stream exhibit began to “color up” and turn an electric blue. This is an indicator that they are ready to breed.

Rainbow shiner

The rainbow shiner will transform from its normal reddish coloration to an electric blue to signal that it’s ready to breed!

Soon after their color change, our aquarist, Nick Little, observed many pairs spawning in hidden areas throughout the exhibit. After a couple of weeks of incubation, we now have fry in the exhibit!

rainbow shiner fry

Shiner fry!

This is the second time National Aquarium, Washington, DC, has successfully spawned and reared rainbow shiners!

Sailfin sculpin eggs

Our sailfin sculpins started laying eggs in mid-December and have continued to lay clutches almost weekly.

Sailfin sculpin eggs

Sailfin sculpin eggs

We hope to have sailfin sculpin fry swimming around the exhibit soon!

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

5 Responses to “Animal Updates – March 8”


  1. 1 fishinnpost March 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Rainbow shiners are very hard to get going I have heard. Could you reveal any secrets that you guys did to be able to get those beautiful fry? haha

  2. 3 Valerie Virta March 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I looked really hard for the shiner fry yesterday but I didn’t see them. Were they taken out of the tank? Also, which exhibit has the sailfin sculpin eggs? Thanks ~

    • 4 National Aquarium March 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

      They are small and can be quite hard to spot. We’ll check in with our Aquarist and let you know!

      • 5 Valerie Virta March 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

        A volunteer named Nancy helped me find them on Sunday. The shiner babies had been moved to a fry cage in a different tank. And we spotted some more eggs in the sailfin sculpin tank.


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