Hybrid butterflyfishes sightings seem to very frequent these days. Not too long ago, we published some photographs featuring stunning hybrids of C. xanthurus and C. auriga, which were both some of the most unique and unusual crosses we’ve seen to date. The photograph above is of another cross, but this time, a hybrid of the Raccoon butterflyfish (C. lunula). This is definitely one of the most breathtaking and unique butterflyfish crosses we’ve seen so far. C. lunula has been documented to hybridize with the threadfin butterflyfish in the wild, but this love child produced with what we believe to be C. wiebeli is definitely one of the first ever seen, or documented.
The hybrid features distinct traits from both parents. The high body profile and disk like appearance, coupled with the stripes on the face are very strong characteristics of C. wiebeli. The overall colouration of the fish is a burnt orange-yellow that came from C. lunula. What’s so amazing about this fish is the alternating bands of white and black on its face, which came from both parent fishes. C. wiebeli and C. lunula both share the black and white banding pattern on their faces, but with varying degree of thickness.
C. wiebeli is very rarely seen in the trade and is mainly found in the waters of the Western Pacific. It is very curious that such a hybrid could occur between the two and caught for the aquarium trade. Not to mention the obvious differences in shape and size of both parent fishes. Nonetheless, the range of both fishes do overlap, and the formation of this beautiful hybrid is apparently, not that all impossible.
The fish is being sold on AQUARISE, a Japanese fish store for about USD700. A hefty price to pay for a fish that’s coming from the Indo-pacific region, and occuring in relatively shallow waters. Despite the price, die hard collectors of rare butterflyfish will be at the ready to snap this piece up in due time.