This is a WYSIWYG offering. This is the EXACT fish being offered.
Nebula Percula really hit the aquarium scene in late 2014. This line originated at the hands of Bali Aquarich, the results of breeding from a wild caught Percula Clownfish which showed extreme patterning including cloudy / smudgy markings unlike that seen in Picasso Percula. This is a large adult fish, at a life stage where it probably could still be used as a male (so long as it’s placed with an even larger female), but will more easily make a female in a pairing with a smaller juvenile Amphiprion percula. This fish has been on hand since mid-March, 2016.
The genetics of “Nebula” are unclear; some breeders may opt to suggest that any Picasso Percula Clownfish with the appearance of smudges is a “Nebula”; the presumption is that they’re the same thing. But if that were the case, we’d be calling Addison’s Quests Picassos…even though genetically the data currently suggests they are two similar, but independent genetic mutations. My working hypothesis is that the Nebula might be a distinct gene, similar to Picasso, or that Nebula may in fact be a multi-gene phenotype, the combination of Picasso genetics and a “smudgy” genetic or other secondary modifier gene. Until we have a lot more breeding under our belts, all we can do is guess at what produces these stunning fishes.
As such, at this moment in time, Nebula should only be reserved for fishes sold as Nebula by Bali Aquarich, and descendants of those fish which clearly share the same phenotype of crinkling and smudging. From what Iittle I’ve been told, breeding with Nebulas yields mostly Picasso-type fish, but a small percentage within the ranks is clearly Nebula.
As Bali Aquarich only releases large adult fish, and because high-grade Nebula Percula are among the most in-demand, the prices remain high. This fish was sold to me as A-Grade, confirmed by Bali themselves to my supplier at the time of sale. Based on what I’ve seen in terms of Bali Aquarich grading, it seems that the level of white coverage plays at least an equal role to the level of patterning within the fish. Ultimately every Nebula is quite unique, so until such time as they are being routinely produced in quantities, I would likely anticipate them to remain high-end WYSIWYG offerings.