Snappers aren’t very high on the aquarists’ list of must-have fish although many of them are truly attractive, including the two newly described species from the Indian Ocean. Lutjanus indicus and Lutjanus papuensis are two new species of snappers described by Allen, White & Erdmann (pdf link) in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.
Lutjanus papuensis pictured above, as the name implies, is a new species from West Papua where type specimens were collected from the famed Cenderawasih Bay. L. papuensis is similar to the striking Lutjanus lunulatus but where the Papuan snapper has a broad area of yellow color all over the body, L. lunulatus has the yellow coloration limited to the ventral parts of the body including pelvic, pectoral and anal fins.
Lutjanus indicus has a tamer appearance with muted coloration and pattern. The new ‘Indian Snapper’ species has a large spot on the body that is surrounded by a few oblique horizontal yellow lines. Lutjanus russellii is the sister species to the newly described Indian Snapper but it is restricted to a distribution in the Western Pacific Ocean.