Sirembo jerdoni (Brown-banded cusk-eel) is a really cool and really cute little eel like fish that is just too seldom seen in the trade. It inhabits a wide range across the Indo-west pacific, but due to it’s shy and benthic nature, it is very rarely imported into the trade.
The awesome specimen recently acquired by Digiman of Singapore is possibly the first ever specimen to show up here and he was quick to digitalize it in the form a video. The owner of this cusk-eel is no stranger to rare fish and has owned some pretty spectacular species such as the masudai and sanguineus hogfish.
Despite its seemingly large eyes, it has been reported that the cusk-eel is rather blind and is quite sensitive to light. Beneath its lower jaw lies a pair of barbels which it uses to sniff out edible morsels from the safe confines of its dark benthic habitat in which they are found in.
The picture insert above is one that made its way to Japan. A big thanks to Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka for the picture. Unfortunately not much information is available on the captivity of the cusk-eel. According to the owner of the cusk-eel videoed above, it has a liking for large chunks of diced shrimp but it needs time to locate and consume the food. That certainly does not sound like a fish you’d want living in a busy community tank.
An even rarer and deeper dwelling species in the Sirembo genus exists, and it’s pictured above. S. imberbis can be found in excess of 100m and its extremely rare and uncommon in the trade.
Almost all pictures of S. imberbis and S. jerdoni found in the internet belong to the Japanese. If you happen to stumble upon a lonely little Sirembo and are willing to provide it in a suitable species tank, go for it. Prepare to fork out a sum for it though!