BlueHarbor released new pictures and videos of their latest haul and here’s a better look at the insanely rare Cirrhilabrus claire. As we’ve mentioned previously, C. claire has never had its live picture featured anywhere before and this pair marks the first in history. The new pictures released by BlueHarbor allows a better look at the actual coloration and it has perhaps, one of the most unique coloration of any Cirrhilabrus species out there. Keep reading for more pictures and videos.
The pair of Claire’s fairy wrasse was collected by professional deepwater fish collectors including Rufus Kimura and Randy Olsen. The male pictured above displays a very clear purple belt that runs from the lower lip up toward the head and across the dorsal fin all the way to the tail. Encased within this magnificent purple outline is the unique golden-olive head, which spreads throughout the anterior half of the body and the tail. The color combination is very unique, with Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalis being the only other species to possess a combination of purple and gold.
Males also possess a pair of elongated purple ventral fins and a yellow eye. The caudal peduncle is colored slightly differently from the rest of the body, in a shade of bluish green. We mentioned previously that C. claire bears somewhat of a resemblance to Cirrhilabrus jordani and Cirrhilabrus roseafascia but from this new picture, it clearly resembles C. rhomboidalis more, in terms of coloration. Bear in mind that the fish may be photographed in actinic lightings and so may appear cooler in coloration. We expect a slightly brighter fish in real life with generally the same color scheme. Genetically we’re not sure which species it is closest to.
BlueHarbor also released new images of the unidentified hogfish that was collected along with Cirrhilabrus claire. From these new pictures it’s more evident that the hogfish may actually turn out to be a totally new un-described species. The coloration is unlike B. sanguineus and the new hogfish above has alternating bands of candy red and yellow. The body appears to be slightly more elongated and tapered as well. BlueHarbor scored a pair of these.
Completing the extremely impressive and record breaking menagerie of rarities is a juvenile Bodianus neopercularis as well as a unusually colored Mystery wrasse. B. neopercularis is a highly sought after and extremely rare hogfish and is the Pacific Ocean representative of two closely related species. Its virtually identical sister species Bodianus opercularis, hails from the Indian Ocean. The Mystery wrasse from the deep waters of Tahiti appears to have a yellow sheen running across its back as well as its dorsal fin. This could just be a local color variation and it will be interesting to see how the coloration changes as it grows. Other noteworthy species in this shipment include a large Black Tang and a pair of Cirrhilabrus scottorum.
We leave you with a video update of C. claire as well as the pair of unidentified hogfishes. From the video it seems that all the fishes were well collected and properly decompressed and are showing excellent buoyancy. We await news on the future owners of these incredible fishes but we have a feeling that the pair of C. claire may end up as permanent residences in BlueHarbor.