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Splash's Kauai talk. There are some pictures too.

Nenue Xanthic Transformation

Sep-18-2008 Thu


This is a Nenue, Gray Chub, Rudder-fish, or Kyphosus bigibbus.

Call it what you like it but I will call it a Nenue. In these pictures it is going through a xanthic color change. Which means that it is turning yellow.


Yellow Nenue are very rare. I had seen a few near Kauai and Niihau before. What is new here is, this is the first time that I had seen one change color.


It started as a small yellow spot on its nose. We thought that it was an injury at first. The spot grew and became more yellow. I started to tell people that it was turning yellow and it did. Of course most people probably thought that I was pulling their leg on this. People believe all kinds of stories. When they hear something true.They suddenly become skeptical.


Why does it turn yellow? That is what everyone wants to know. The most common answer is that it is turning into the Queen Nenue and becoming a female. This is usually followed with the fact that if something happens to it another will turn yellow and take its place. Now this doesn't hold water. If it were true they would become extinct. The yellow ones are far to rare for this to be true.


The important thing to me is that it does turn yellow. It doesn't hatch as a yellow fish. This was new to me.


There are also yellow Trumpet-fish. These are also rare.


Some fish do change color and sex at the same time. So the above reason is not so outlandish as it may seem. The Parrot-fish and Wrasses are some of the best examples of this.


I will keep an eye on this fish and see if it changes back. It would be interesting too if more started to turn yellow. Then again someone may just decide to see it the yellow ones do really taste better. 


This is the same fish. This year the black has started to appear.  I think that it may not last much longer.


This fish is still swimming around.