The new damselfish captured by Seasmart fishermen in Papua New Guinea may have been discovered a little over a week ago but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a legal immigrant to American aquariums. Last week Sea Dwelling Creatures received the first batch of these PNG beauties and has already started distributing them to aquariums stores in the US.
We acquired some specimens last week and now that they’ve settled into the quarantine tank, we can’t stress enough how beautiful these fish are. Granted our poor lighting and long distance travellers don’t yet look anything like the stunner that we posted last week, but they’re coloring up fast. Even better yet, we first feared thesewould be the type of Pomacnetrus or Stegastes damselfish that starts out life with unbelievable colors but then becomes a dull adult.
Thankfully, our small captive population shows the opposite pattern; the smallest fish are mostly greyish black with few blue markings and the larger the specimen, the more blue they are showing. Our largest resident Tufi damselfish is showing the tell tale thin blue stripe which lets us know at least we got the right fish. Continue past the break for more details and lots more pictures.
Our Tufi damslefish are between one and two inches long and they are already showing a healthy amount of aggression, typical of damselfish. The Tufi reminds us of both a showy damselfish like a Pavo but it has the body and stockyness of a princess damselfish. Our guess is that this fish will retain the higher body profile and will develop colors on par with a large showy Pavo damselfish without getting quite as large.
After scouring the literature, both physical and digital, we cannot find any mention of a damselfish that matches this species and it is very likely still undescribed. We really hope that Seasmart gets some recognition in the naming of this fish, if it is indeed unknown taxonomically. With Seasamrt program still very early in it’s exploration of the PNG shoreline, we hope to see many more jewels like this in the future. Big thanks to Sea Dwelling Creatures for helping us to acquire some of these exciting new damselfish.