The newly described Serranus aliceae is a species of dwarf basslet from relatively deep waters of subtropical Brazilian reefs. First discovered living at 30m (100ft), the specimens collected for the description of this crimson red basslet were also collected at 70m (230ft), so this is one beauty that definitely prefers the depth.
With a nearly all red coloration which is defined by a broad brilliant red horizontal band, we are suggesting the common name of “cardinal basslet” for this brand new species, whose appearance is similar to the super popular cardinal tetra, also found in Brazil. Like the cardinal tetra, the cardinal basslet also has a bright stripe above the red one but the marine species’ is a stark white, helping to accentuate the namesake coloration.
Like Liopropoma, Serranus is one of those genera which has a prolific number of beautiful, deep-dwelling small species which are constantly being discovered all over the world. While its unlikely that cardinal basslets will ever be collected for aquariums, especially since Brazil has banned the exports of all endemic marine fish species, its small size would make a great aquarium fish with the largest specimen being a touch over 2.5 inches, or about 7cm.