The awesome Lipogramma evides pictured above is just one of many super rare fishes recently brought up from the deepwaters of Curacao. The seemingly boring looking fish in monochrome may look ordinary, but do not be fooled. L. evides is one of the most sought after beauties from the Atlantic, commanding a hefty $3,000USD price tag. The blue and yellow highlights on the fins add a subtle beauty to the otherwise black and white body coloration. L. evides can be found at depths of 40-350m, but are usually only found below 100m. This particular specimen was caught at 400ft, making the collection process difficult and long.
The rare fish menagerie continues with yet another impressive specimen of Gonioplectrus hispanus, or more commonly known as the Spanish Flag. Once extremely rare, this species is now slowly beginning to trickle into the market with increasing frequency, albeit a slow one. The purple and orange striped grouper bears a roughly similar color scheme to the Polleni grouper, except the Spanish Flag costs just shy of 2,000USD. Like the L. evides above, the Spanish Flag is a deepwater inhabitant found at depths of 35-365m, although this particular one was caught at 450ft.
Like the other specimens above, these two unidentified scorpionfishes were also pulled up from the depths of Curacao. The amazing purple and orange specimens pictured above appear to be undescribed and are very tiny. The orange one was collected at a ridiculous depth of 600ft, and measured in at only 0.75 inches! The purple piece was collected at a slightly shallower depth, of 400ft.
Not too long ago we shared an article of an unknown Callionymus dragonet that was pulled up from the deep and sent to BlueHarbor, Japan. Joining to entourage of deepwater Curacao fishes is yet another specimen of the said dragonet, caught at 550ft. The red and white lanceolate tailed fish measured about 3 inches from snout to tail and is absolutely gorgeous. Despite the unbelievable haul of already rare fishes and all at extraordinary depths, the collection is completed with the capture of the ever popular and ever gorgeous candy basslet, Liopropoma carmabi.
The shallowest of the lot, the candy basslet was caught at a depth of 200ft, which is still very deep as far as reef fishes go. The striking coloration of the candy basslet is unmistakable and has quickly established itself as an icon for rare Atlantic reef fish. All of the above super deep fishes are now currently put on display at Curacao Sea Aquarium. That’ll definitely make for a really exquisite exhibit.
On a separate note, this Pronotogrammus martinicensis from the Caribbean was recently offered for sale in Singapore, where it was quickly snapped by a local fish enthusiast. This fish is rarely seen in the trade and might not be as brightly colored as its other rare Atlantic brethren, but it still commands a high price due to it’s deep dwelling nature.