Ellerkeldia rubra is an exciting new dwarf seaperch species that is very rarely collected from Western Australia. The Ellerkeldia genus includes many species that greatly resemble Hypoplectrodes sseaperches but Ellerkeldia has a slightly more elongated body shape. Although a few specimens trickled into the U.S. last year from the west side of Oz, this recently imported specimen from Russo’s Reef is the first specimen seen in over 12 months. Based on the color pattern and behavior it is believed that the red-striped dwarf seaperch might be seen at moderate depth but like Hypoplectrodes and Plectranthias they may become more abundant with increasing depth. E. rubra has been recorded to reach almost 4″/10cm in size and with a capacious mouth making up a significant part of that length, we wouldn’t trust this little predator with small fish or crustaceans adn you can kiss your cleaner shrimp goodbye! This red-stripe dwarf seaperch which reminds us of Pelicier’s Plectranthias is expected to fetch up to three benjamins at retail; having that bold red lateral band with a contrasting white belly and intricate facial stripes, this is a fish specimen that would make any fish fancier pull out their wallets in a heartbeat. Huge thanks to Russo’s Reef for sharing these amazing pictures, most of which can be seen after the break.
Update: word up on cayo de recif is that Greenwich Aquaria and LiveAquaria might both be scoring one of these Australian gems.