The following is from “‘Opae Obstacles,” published by the University of Hawaii at Hilo in PRISM (Partnerships for Reform through Investigative Science and Mathematics):

Some crustaceans including spiny lobsters and crabs have a large number of eggs that are held in the swimmerets beneath the muscular tail. Often the eggs are released to be part of the floating plankton that drifts with the currents. While they produce a very large number of eggs, in nature, relatively few of the hatchlings, or larvae survive. In contrast, ‘opae ‘ula have relatively few eggs (10 to 20) but with a high hatch and survival rate. These eggs are brooded for about 38 days under the body of the female, near the swimmerets. Researchers have noticed that these “berried females” typically stay in dark, sheltered places during brooding. Once eggs hatch, free-swimming larvae are produced. These larvae will molt, or shed their shells 4 to 5 times before the megalopal stage (post-larval) of development. After two weeks, the megalopal larvae transform into juveniles, which increase in length until they are full adults. The main differences between juveniles and adults are size and the ability to breed (which comes with age). Adult ‘opae ‘ula females can reproduce more than once per year. Adults are known to live for up to 20 years. This entire process is called the life-cycle.


18 Sep. 2014 – Tank Started

OpaeUla Tank 092014A

20 Sep. 2014 – Began this blog to organize info about opae-ula and to record my activities.

24 Oct. 2014 – Evolving Tanks


19 Nov. 2014 – New 10-gallon Tank – “How Tough Are These Little Guys?


20 Nov. 2014 – 10-gallon Tank: New Light 11/20/14


21 Nov. 2014 – Filter On, Filter Off: Day 1

3 Responses to About

  1. Odin says:

    Hi there! I really like your website and while browsing the photos I noticed you use filters? What are your views on using an air filter in the Opae Ula tanks?

    Kind regards.


  2. al says:

    hi! would you be willing to part with some of your babies? willing to pay of course! thanks!


    • JimS says:

      Hi Al. Apologies for the delay in publishing your comment. I didn’t see it until this morning. Re your question: No. I’m in this strictly as a hobby and learning experience. However, thank you for asking. There are numerous online sources for opae’ula, e.g., google Christine Ha’s videos on YouTube. She mentions some reliable suppliers. If you live on Oahu, you can find them at Kalihi Pet Center. This is where I got my initial batches. Be sure to call ahead at (808) 841-5234 to make sure they still carry them. -Jim


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