Plesiops coeruleolineatus is a cryptic little fish that is not often seen in the hobby. Aptly named the Crimsontip Longfin, the fish is equal parts crimsontipped and equal parts long-finned. Though usually drably colored, males can get absolutely gorgeous when displaying or courting. The male shown above, photographed in Oak Island, Japan, is backing me up as I type with it’s incredibly impressive display. The flaring of it’s lemon-yellow throat reminds us of the freshwater Siamese betta, as it, in a similar way, flare open its gills to display.
The Crimsontip Longfin is wide ranging, from the Red-Sea to East Africa, all the way to Japan and seeded around the Indo-pacific. It is however not often found in the trade due to it’s cryptic nature. Adults are typically found living under rocks and stones and are very secretive. These elusive fishes are not inhabitants of the deep, and can be found in lagoons. Be that as it may, this fish is seldom encountered by divers and are often seen flitting out of overturned stones or coral heads. Not too long ago, Kevin Kohen of LiveAquaria released a photo of a xanthic specimen of P. coeruleolineatus that was an interesting stunner. Unlike its dull colored counterparts, the xanthic specimen showed off its “rainbowyness” in its unpaired fins and a unique blend of dirty-yellow on its body.