The Scythe Butterflyfish (Prognathodes falcifer) is a member of the “long-nosed” butterflies from the genus Prognathodes. Many of the species are Atlantic in distribution, and all feature a pointed snout with exaggerated dorsal fin spikes. All the Prognathodes butterflies are gorgeous and are normally associated with deeper waters. About half the genus make regular appearances in the trade (P. marcellae, P. aya, P. aculeatus, P. brasiliensis and P. guyanensis), while the rest range from being incredibly difficult to impossible in terms of their availability. Prognathodes falcifer belongs to the latter, and has not made its debut in the aquarium scene so far.
The stunning juvenile photographed recently in the Catalina Islands is truly amazing. Aside from where this photo was taken, P. falcifer also inhabits the waters of southern California, Peru, as well as the Galapagos. Not only are pictures of P. falcifer few and very far between, juveniles of this species are almost non-existant and this could be the first. Forget about owning one at the moment, but if you ever want to see one alive, then the Denver Downtown Aquarium would be the place to be. This stunning picture was taken by Michael Zeigler, and for more amazing underwater photography by him, check out his Flickr photostream here.