Once upon a time, Scott’s fairy wrasses from the Cook Islands was THE wrasse to have; it was the bee’s knees of fairy wrasses and it was pretty much the only form of Cirrhilarbus scottorum that you could get in the first place. Made famous by the pioneering aquarium fish photography of Scott Michael, Scott’s fairy wrasse was one of the most beautiful wrasses available to the aquarist. Long before marjorie, naokoae, exquisitus or even rhomboid and lineatus fairy wrasses became a common sight at higher end marine aquarium fish and reef stores, Scott’s fairy wrasses from Cook Islands was where it’s at, and now they’re back.
We’re not exactly sure how long it’s been since the supply of Cook Islands Cirrhilabrus scottorum dried up but it’s been a good half decade since we’ve seen that bright yellow bellied wrasse with the clownish bright red spot on the side. Don’t even go comparing Cook Islands Scott’s to their overgrown and blackish counterparts from the Coral Sea and Australia. The Aussie Scott’s fairy wrasse is nice, but no other location of Scott’s fairy wrasse can compare with the “original” specimens that the aquarium trade enjoyed from the South Pacific Ocean.
It’s no surprise to see this amazing type locality for Cirrhilabrus scottorum appear first at LiveAquaria’s Diver’s Den and it’s also no surprise that it sold in record time at $249. One look at the picture of the picture perfect Scott’s fairy wrasse above and it’s easy to forecast that the Cook Island Scott’s fairy wrasse is due for a resurgence in popularity in the aquarium trade.