Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Choosing a Mate

I mentioned yesterday that in my latest book release, Dylan's Song, Sam takes over the angelfish business while Vicki and Dylan are in Ireland. One of the more unfortunate things that happens is Sam mixes up the angelfish, which means that black marbles end up with platinums, silver striped angels end up with smoky leopards and koi angels end up with pearlscale whites.

But in reality, will angelfish breed with those who don't look like them?

When I purchased a dozen freshwater angelfish a few years ago from a terrific breeder in Pennsylvania, I found it fascinating to watch them select their mates. The koi angels chose other koi angels. The blue angels chose other blue angels. The marbles selected other marbles. They seemed to naturally select someone like themselves - even though they really don't know how they look, unless they understand their occasional reflection is like holding a mirror to them.

But in two instances, I've had angels select someone much different from themselves.

Lindsay Buckingfish is a huge, ten inch tall black marble and an alpha male. He selected Stevie Fishnick years ago, who is a petite platinum. Now, in all honesty, Stevie did play around and have sex with Mick Fleetfish more than once. But she always seemed to come back to Lindsay. Mick, by the way, was very large - taller than Lindsay at the time - and was also a platinum angel, though his top fin was very crooked so he always looked pretty worn out.

Then there was John McFish. A silver striped angel, one of the most recognizable angel designs in the world, he fell in love immediately with a petite smoky leopard angel named Christy McFish. They tried several times to raise babies and I wish I had a honeymoon suite for them at the time. Sadly, Christy passed away and although John has had a wandering eye just once - which didn't lead to egg laying - he's been pretty much a loner since her death.

Angelfish usually mate for life and they can live to be ten years old.