A closer look at the gorgeous White-bar Anthias, Pseudanthias leucozonus

By on Apr 11, 2012

Close up shot of the super illustrious P. leucozonus. Picture by Jimmy Ma.

Pseudanthias leucozonus has been referred to as one of the most beautiful deep water anthias and for a long time, has been regarded as a japanese endemic. It’s only in recent years that we’ve been seeing sporadic appearances of these amazing fairy basslets coming out of Bali, and this has made obtaining it that much easier. That’s not to say that it has totally become common, the white bar anthias is still rare and highly sought after.

We first shared about the white-bar anthias back in 2010, when Greenwich Aquaria landed in a good handful of them. Since then, we’ve been seeing these Bali caught beauties appearing in Singapore, and many other countries. The trio of males here are the latest to enter the Hong Kong market and they are in such great shape that we had to share them with you.\

Males of P. leucozonus possess a white bar that runs vertically down their body, as suggested by the common name.

These pictures were shared with us by Jimmy Ma from Hong Kong, the owner of the amazing aberrant Coral Beauty that never lost its color. From personal accounts and those of others, males that are kept singly and alone quickly lose their brilliant colors and fade to a drab orangey base resembling that of females. The females of P. leucozonus are almost never seen in the trade and are extremely hard to find. The total opposite occurs in the wild, where the ratio of females are much higher. A likely reason for the lack of females could be that their unattractive nature is overlooked and collectors go after the more colorful males which are of higher monetary value. Let’s not forget that these anthias live in deep waters and for divers trying to make a living, every second sent in the deep counts. Time spent catching males rather than females would result in better profit.

The result would inevitably be a whole group of males with little to no females – as seen in the batch of males by Greenwich Aquaria. The ironic thing is, this would mean that maintaining the brilliant colors would be harder, and the males that were targeted so explicitly would have all gone to waste. There’s a possibility that when multiple males are kept together, the less dominant of the group would either change back into a female or be pushed around so much so that the leader of the group retains its color. This is often seen in other Pseudanthias and sometimes, Cirrhilabrus.

Whatever the case, we hope that these beautiful yet touchy anthias do well with Jimmy and we’re curious to know how they turn up.

 

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