ORA Bundoon Blenny

The newest addition to the ORA Meiacanthus family is the Bundoon Blenny. We have always loved this fish but finding high quality wild fish to start our breeding program proved to be difficult.  While they are common in their native range, they are rarely exported from Tonga.

A few years ago Dr. Bruce Carlson, former Director of the Waikiki Aquarium and Chief Science Officer of the Georgia Aquarium, visited Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and the ORA facilities.  During a dinner Bruce shared with us the amazing tale of how the Bundoon Blenny was discovered.  We had no idea that this colorful little fish with a funny name was part of such an amazing adventure story.

In 1974 while on a collecting trip in the Fiji Islands, Bruce Carlson and friends were aboard a yacht that was taken off course by strong currents. During the dark, early morning hours their vessel was hurled upon a rocky reef. Pummeled by waves and high winds there could be no rescue if the ship became overwhelmed. The yacht sustained serious damage to both its rudder and propeller but was eventually able to free itself.  Were it not for the yacht’s steel hull, the situation likely would have turned into a tragedy. The group was able to limp back to Moala Island where they spent two days before sailing the yacht to Suva for repairs.   While in Moala, Bruce, like any good scientist who nearly died on the water, spent those two days in the water looking for new fish species.  It was there he collected a new species of Meiacanthus blenny, which he submitted to Dr. William F. Smith-Vaniz for identification.  Along with the specimens, Bruce included a letter describing their harrowing ordeal and suggested that the fish be named in honor of the yacht, the Bundoon.

This lovely fish makes an excellent captive bred addition to any reef tank, and when placed in groups provides the aquarist with a fascinating display of male courtship. Readily consuming all types of aquarium foods, this active blenny provides color, movement and a fascinating story of how it came to be found in your home. Check the product description page to learn more!

Read more about Bruce’s Bundoon Blenny story here.