We LOVE Plectranthias! Now repeat it with conviction, and then again while you read this post. Here at ReefBuilders we’re always on the ball with the genus Plectranthias for new discoveries, new species for the trade, you name it.
We’ve covered a whole plethora of Plectranthias species in the past and do we have a treat for you today. We have today Plectranthias fourmanoiri and P. garrupellus. The former, a fish almost unknown of, unheard of, and without living pictures for the casual aquarist.
P. fourmanoiri is a wide ranging but shallow water species of Plectranthias. We’re so used to associating rare fish, especially Plectranthias, with deep soul crushing depths that it’s kind of refreshing to stumble upon something shallow yet rare. That goes to show that the stereotypical term for “rarity” does not always apply in the fish realm, and yes there are shallow water wide ranging fish that are almost never seen.
P. fourmanoiri‘s living habits coupled with its wide spread nature makes it the equivalent of Black Spot Pygmy Angelfish of the Plectranthias genus. It’s coincidental that the number of spots they share are the same as well. One reason for it’s obscurity is probably attributed to its size and nature. A tiny fish like this with the aptitude for cave dwelling or secret rock hangouts will probably not be noticed by divers and collectors who inadvertently go after more brightly coloured reef life.
That did not stop Cairns Marine from scoring with this Plectranthias though. Their keen eyes have yielded what we think could be the first P. fourmanoiri to enter the trade, and allowed us opportunities for some sweet photo taking. We’re really loving the spots, bands and gold flecks, and kudos to Cairns again for never failing to surprise us. This fish was collected at a fairly reasonable depth, along with the cleaner shrimps, Lysmata amboinensis.
The other Plectranthias that we’d like to highlight is P. garrupellus. The apricot basslet fits the archetype for the genus more appropriately, and is found in very deep waters in Curacao, at 400 ft. We’ve covered the apricot basslet intensively in the past, but that’s no excuse for leaving it out of discussion. Almost all P. garrupellus offered for the trade now are submersible caught using the Curasub, and Dynasty Marine have had pretty good records for apricot basslet offerings.
Before the Curasub was operational, offerings of P. garrupellus were extremely few and far between. The numbers offered via rebreather catching were dismal. Since the operation of the Curasub, the fish has become more available, and for a hefty price tag, this glowy orange fish could be yours.
A big thanks to Cairns and Dynasty Marine for their amazing choice of Plectranthias. A classic juxtaposition of shallow vs deep, yet both equally rare. Also thanks to Iwarna Aquafarm of Singapore for importing these two simultaneously, without which it would not have been possible to create these amazing photo opportunities.