Somewhere along our reefing lives we’ve probably thought about keeping the upside down-swimming Assessors – either the Blue Assessor (A. macneilli), or its yellow counterpart, the Yellow Assessor (A. flavissimus). If the thought of keeping either one has never crossed your mind before, perhaps this would question your opinion. Meet A. randalli, the “long-lost” third member of the unbeatable Assessor duo. Long lost however, it is not. A. randalli was described in 1976 and is not a new species. However you can hardly blame anyone for thinking so, since this fish is virtually unseen and unheard of in the hobby.
It’s appearance is best described as a “slightly brighter version of A. macneilli, with rounder fins decorated with yellow markings. Body as well”. They are primarily found in the waters of the Western Pacific, around Taiwan and Japan. Like its other two cousins, A. randalli can often be found hovering under ledges and cave entrances. They can be seen hovering in mid water upside down, in groups and pairs. The pictures above and below from the blog “Shakana no Sanaka” show clearly the playful stature of these fishes as they swim the right side down. Although probably unheard of in most countries, A. randalli has been offered for sale in Japan, and at very reasonable prices. It is with much hope that maybe some day, A. randalli may reach the warm embrace of fish breeders, and the species added to the Assessor rearing repertoire.