Fairy Wrasses: The bathyphilus group

The bathyphilus group, despite being a very small congregation, is by no means any less interesting or provocative compared to its congeners. In 1997 during the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference held in New Caledonia, five unidentified specimens of Cirrhilabrus were brought to the attention of Dr. John Randall by Michael Kulbicki. Because the specimens were long Read More

Tryssogobius Tuesday: A guide to the genus of fairy gobies

Amongst the giddying myriad of nano-sized gobies suited for the home aquarist, few genera exuberates brilliance and mystique quite like Tryssogobius. The genus comprises of delicate dainty gobies, of which seven are scientifically recognized. There are invariably many more waiting to be discovered, but like their prevalence in the aquarium trade, they go unnoticed by Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The lanceolatus group

The members of the lanceolatus group are some of the largest and showiest fairy wrasses, collectively celebrated for their grandiose caudal fin and chromatic brilliance. The group spans most of the Indo-Pacific, with its various species occupying a series of non-overlapping biogeographic ranges which fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle Read More

The rarely seen Striking Sea Star

Despite the diversity of sea stars that abound in tropical waters, relatively few species find their way into aquariums with any regularity. One of the most interesting species—morphologically, behaviorally and evolutionarily—is also one of the most seldomly encountered: the “Striking Sea Stars” of the genus Euretaster. Almost nothing has been written on this group in terms Read More

Rare species of Arothron pufferfishes

Dogface pufferfishes are as common a marine fish as you’ll find in the aquarium hobby, but this is by no means true of all the species in this diverse group. The genus Arothron, as currently classified, contains fifteen species, several of which have never been collected for aquarists. These taxa are often poorly known, regionally Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The lunatus group

Cirrhilabrus johnsoni was first described in 1988 based on specimens collected in the Marshall and Caroline islands. This small species served as the twentieth member of a rapidly expanding genus, and was decidedly different with a crescent shaped caudal fin adorned with long filamentous extensions. It was only three years later that another species of Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The lubbocki group

The lubbocki group houses six members divided evenly into two separate but closely related clades. They are the lubbocki clade and the marjorie clade. All members of this group are small to medium sized species with a recurring red and white color scheme in males. Apart from the biogeographic and phenotypic differences of the two clades, the Read More

Fairy Wrasses: A review of the genus Cirrhilabrus

Fairy wrasses are some of the most ubiquitous fishes in the marine aquarium trade, which is why it may come as a surprise to learn that the group has never received a serious taxonomic review. The scientific literature is filled with scattered species descriptions, but there is typically nothing more than a cursory sentence suggesting Read More

A Photographic Identification Guide to Stenopus Shrimp

The Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) is a staple of the aquarium hobby, but there are many more species in its genus that are less familiar to aquarists. Nearly all of the dozen or so species appear in exports from time to time. Some are regularly encountered, and some are rare enough to be the Read More

Speciation and hybridisation of the Acanthurus nigricans complex

The family Acanthuridae with its six charismatic genera are some of the most beloved and recognisable fish both in the field and in the trade, serving as iconic reef denizens which play important roles in herbivory. The six genera holds about eighty or so species spanning a myriad of colours, sizes and forms, with certain Read More