We’re not sure what it is about Pictichromis diadema that lends itself to mutations and aberrations of its color pattern seemingly much more often than other species of Pictichromis and Pseudochromis. Is it possible that the unusually colored dottybacks are the result of unexpected genetic combinations between the hybrid of the diadema and the royal dottyback?
Probably not but like other aberrations of reef fish we’d love to learn more about the mechanism that produces these remarkable fish. The aberrant diadema dottyback above was collected in Cebu, as many others have been, but there’s a couple more after the break which are from Malaysia and Manilla. Thanks to Eastern Marine Aquarium and Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka for sharing some more pictures of these rare and unusual fish.