Gramma dejongi is a spankin new reef fish species that was discovered by Dejong Marinelife from some shipments of aquarium fish from Cuba. The new Gramma dejongi species has been kept under wraps by Dejong while awaiting formal description by Jack Randall. Since the new Gramma species was brought to light by Arie Dejong and his staff, the fish has been described as Gramma dejongi.
The beautiful Cuban reef fish looks like a perfect royal gramma in shape, Gramma loreto, although the body is all yellow with the purple color reduced to just the anterior of the dorsal fin, the pelvic fins and base thereof with magenta color creeping up to just under the chin of Gramma dejongi. The obvious beauty of the new Gramma dejongi aside, for Americans it brings in focus the implications of our trade embargo with Cuba, without which American Carribean fish dealers would surely have discovered this species decades ago.
Furthermore, Cuba is a very large island and we have to ask ourselves what other beautiful reef fish still remain to be discovered in the reef waters of Cuba. At the moment there is no legal way for Americans to call up their local Cuban reef fish dealer, and we’ll likely have to wait our turn as Dejong ships this startling new Gramma species to collectors worldwide.