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Fairy Wrasses: The rubrimarginatus group

The rubrimarginatus group is home to some of the most well-known (and well-loved) of the Fairy Wrasses. The group can be divided rather equally into two clades, each with their own separate diagnostic features. The males attain fairly large sizes, are robust, and many are intricately designed with fine streaks and spots on the face … Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The exquisitus complex

Cirrhilabrus exquisitus is an unusually widespread and variable species which appears to form a lineage alongside the scottorum and cyanopleura groups, with all three sharing characteristically mid-length pelvic fins. Unlike any other species of Cirrhilabrus, the Exquisite Fairy Wrasse has a range which extends from Africa to Japan and the French Polynesia, with readily discernible … Read More

Lessepsian migration between the Mediterranean and Red Seas via the Suez Canal

The Mediterranean and the Red Seas are some of the most historical, geographical and anthropologically important landmarks that this magnificent planet holds. Fed primarily by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans respectively, together these two bodies of water tell an opulent story dating back to the eons. In this article, we take a brief look at the history, geography … Read More

The speciation, biogeography and hybridization of Zebrasoma

The family Acanthuridae boasts of charismatic, charming and iconic reef fishes that are immediately recognizable both in the field and in the trade. All eighty or so species spanning the six various genera have a single unifying trait, and that is the possession of razor sharp caudal peduncular spines. The family is diverse and well represented … Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The cyanopleura group

The cyanopleura group is the next collection of fairy wrasses from the second major Cirrhilabrus clade (whose member taxa share the trait of mid-length pelvic fins) and is sister to the scottorum group. In the latter, certain traits that were diagnostic to the members will be more evidently presented in the various species here, suggesting the closeness between the two groups.… Read More

Fairy Wrasses: The scottorum group

Moving away from the first major Cirrhilabrus clade, we explore the various species groups that differ by having larger and longer pelvic fins. The scottorum group is a small conglomeration of two confirmed species, one of which is highly polychromatic throughout its range, with the potential of harboring at least one cryptic member liable for … Read More

Coeloplana: Benthic ctenophores living right under your nose

Ctenophora is a phylum of marine animals most commonly referred to as comb jellies. You may have seen these in various documentaries, manifesting themselves as gelatinous geometric shapes fringed in movable cilia and psychedelic disco lights. This phylum is huge and diverse, comprising a myriad of classes and orders, each with their own collection of genera and … Read More

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