The opae’ula pre-adult development cycle lasts approximately 11.5 weeks. The brooding period is 38 days. The larval stage involves two substages: zoea (17 days) and megalopa (11 days). The final stage before adulthood is juvenile (14 days). Adults are theoretically able to live more than 20 years.
In the larval stage, the opae are limited to moving vertically only or hanging suspended in the water. They remain upside down, with their head pointed down and tail pointed up. In the post-larval juvenile stage, they begin to move horizontally and diagonally. In this video, we see them (tiny dots) just beginning to swim sideways on their own.
Keep an eye out for a berried female. There are three or more in this tank. Females can produce more than once per year.
Acknowledgment: Soundtrack “Alta Loma Terrace” by Wes Hutchinson.