Last year ReefBuilders championed the elusive and rare-in-the-trade Florida Spotted Drum, Equetus punctatus, as one of the most underrated reef fish. So I couldn’t help offering another look at the species, this time, a hand-collected juvenile from Florida that recently found its way to my quarantine tanks thanks to Kara and Philipp Rauch.
It eats like a pig and just gorgeous. It puts a Moorish Idol to shame with that dorsal fin. Of course, at this size, the slightly more available Jackknife Fish (Equetus lanceolatus) is every bit as beautiful, and is yet far too often overlooked despite being found on own our shores. The only potential downside is that fish in this group do have a reputation for being initially sensitive.
With a maximum size range of 6-9″, the Spotted Drum has a lot going for it when considered for larger FOWLR type displays. The species is somewhat reef safe, but crabs, crustaceans and many other invertebrates may be fair game for a hungry Spotted Drum.
Now I only need 5 more to get my breeding group established, although I’m pretty sure that Martin Moe already did this species too! Man, that guy has just done everything…