A large shipment of cool reef critters was recently imported to Singapore which included a menageries of rare reef fish and a wunderpus. The above video of the Wunderpus clearly shows the amazing colour and banding patterns associated with this species, and the close relative, the mimic octopus. Now before you run to the nearest LFS, requesting to get one of these guys in, it is important to note that these animals are difficult and expert only creatures with short live spans and specific care requirements. Needless to say, the specimen above went to a hobbyist who specifically ordered one in and has great experience in the art of rearing these eight-legged animals. The short video above shows the beauty and grace of these amazingly striped mollusks.
Joining the entourage are these juvenile Centropyge angels with amazing history and variation. The photo shows just two of the many “false shepardi” angelfishes that arrived, along with two of three pure breed flame angelfishes (Centropyge loricula), from the Philippines. The babies are only slightly over an inch each. Although mainly caught and found in most Pacific islands, it is quite common knowledge by now that this species is found, albeit in very small numbers, in certain parts of Philippines. These breed with the very abundant Rusty Angelfish to form the “false shepardi” hybrids, which very closely resembles the pure C. shepardi found in Guam, and has led some to believe that the origin of that said species is due to an isolated collection of hybrids that set up a thriving and stable population in Guam now.
Although the hybrids were quite rare in the past, they are now being collected with more regularity and are already establishing themselves as one of the newest and more exciting dwarf angels to hit the market in recent times. Being hybrids, each and every fish has a different appearance, with some bearing more traits from their Flame angelfish parents, or bearing more traits from their Rusty angelfish lineage. With such variation from fish to fish, it is always exciting to see new specimens appearing now and then, with differently marked patterns or colours.
The Cebuan superstars do not stop here, and the cast are joined by these absolutely gorgeous Rose-island dottybacks.
Rose-island dottybacks are very rare in the trade and are very seldom collected for sale. The two males arrived with a rather drab looking female. Males have a spectacular pink head with a bright orange-yellow nape that spreads a little down it’s dorsal region. We’re happy to announce that a male and the female have been selected for pairing and will be attempted to be bred by Ong JunKai, a close friend of mine who succeeded in spawning and raising the fries of the very notorious Mccullochi Dottyback. We have no doubt in his abilities as a breeder, and we sure hope to see captive raised Pseudoplesiops rosae dottybacks in the near future.
Ending off this very lengthy and picture intensive post, is a tribute to all lovers of rare gobies. The highlights are probably the extremely rare Flabelligobius sp, which sports an extraordinarily elaborate and impressive sailfin, the very rare Cryptocentrus leucostictus and the demure Lotilia graciliosa. All three fishes share the common characteristic of being partners to their commensal pistol shrimp counterparts in the wild. Not one, but five Flabelligobius were brought in in total, which is quite a number considering the rarity of this yet to be determined species. The other two “white-capped” gobies, C. leucostictus and L. graciliosa, are no strangers to rare fish enthusiasts too. I have personally never seen C. leucostictus in person before and the fish is extroadinary! It’s brilliance is highlighted by the subtle accents of yellow on all its finnage. L. graciliosa is a small species that is as rare as it is beautiful. The hovering antiques with gently flapping spotted pectoral fins make for one of the most interesting goby-shrimp behavior yet!
Enjoy the photos and a big thanks to Aquarium Iwarna of Singapore for bringing in these amazing fishes, and Coral Farm pte ltd for the amazing insights of the Flabelligobius sp!