Grammatonotus macropthalmus is a very rare fish which is not a shallow water fish, not a deep water fish but an abyssal reef fish. Like members of Callanthias, Grammatonotus is not an anthias but rather belongs to the family Callanthiidae, even though both genera have copious amounts of yellow and pink coloring like the familiar spotfins and pink squares. This specimen of Grammatonotus was spotted via deep sea submersible while a deep sea submarine was surveying the effects of red coral harvesting in Hawaii, at 350 to 500 meters deep – that’s about a quarter mile below sea level.
Since specimens of Grammatonotus are extremely rare to see or in ichthyological museum collections, the exact identification of Grammatonotus species is hazy at best. Although Grammatonotus do occur in shallower cool water seas they are very rarely seen, so you can kiss your hopes of ever having this fish goodbye. Best to jsut appreciate the cool marine fish species that we’ve yet to learn about. Big thanks to Drs. Frank Parrish and Bruce Mundy for all of their help regarding this sighting and the Grammatonotus genus.