Tattler’s basslet, Serranus phoebe, won’t be the most sensational rare fish collected this year, but that bold pattern of stripes on a light body with subtle blue markings sure are distinctive. The blue snout and angular head makes this serranid look more like a hamlet than a basslet, although the color pattern reminds of us of the snow basslet.
Interestingly enough, this specimen of tattler’s basslet was caught right alongside some of the similarly colored snow basslets in deeper Caribbean waters. We’re not sure exactly where this specimen was caught, but since Serranus phoebe has been spotted in deep water Florida reefs, you could consider the Tattler an American fish.
This specimen of Serranus phoebe was special ordered by Jim Walters of Old Town Aquarium who has a perhaps unhealthy obsession with all manner of rare basslets, but he always shares his rare finds with us and leaves us all that much more enriched by it.
We’ve got a feeling that Jim is going to be holding on to this one but if he did decide to part with it, the Tattler’s basslet would only set you back a couple hundred bucks. A few more pictures of this extremely rare deepwater Caribbean basslet after the break.