Here’s another 2013 recap, but this time, we’re featuring smashing aquarium debuts of 2013. Yes that’s right, 2013 is a year of first times, and these five fishes have had their moment in the spotlight in the past months. While some of them are not aquarium debuts by in the strictest sense, we’ll add them in and we’ll tell you why they count anyways. As with our post on the top six breakthrough aquarium fish, we simply couldn’t fit all these into five. So here’s six of 2013’s best aquarium debuts.
Paracheilinus hemitaeniatus – Now here’s a legitimate aquarium debut. This legendary species made a shocking appearance as recent as just this month. Wrasses lovers around the world have been drooling to no avail at this species and it’s legendary book fish status was finally dethroned by Meerwasser Center Menzel for obtaining this stunning male. Marine Aquaculture Nosyby Madagascar later released footage of yet another pair at their holding facility. We never thought we’d see the day but here it is! Absolutely jaw dropping.
Odontanthias chrysostictus – This year we also saw a surprise re-emergance of O. chrysostictus from Sulawesi. While this isn’t strictly a debut in the sense, it is only the second piece that we know of in the world to be caught alive. Thanks to this incredible deepwater anthias and its similarly shaped cousins, we managed to sort out the real identity of this fish, along with O. katayamai and O. tapui. Not really quite a debut, but smashing? Yes. Incredible? Yes! Second piece we’ve seen photographed is still something.
Plectranthias fourmanoiri – This little tiny seemingly boring Plectranthias is anything but. When we caught news that Cairns Marine had their nets on this species we simply MUST have it. Not only is this possibly the first to enter the trade, it is possibly the first specimen to have its picture taken alive, in close up full HD. Just look at that face. Kudos to Cairn’s Marine for always
allowing us to keep our jobs as writers giving us newsworthy stories to share!
Cirrhilabrus brunneus – If you’ve been paying any attention at all this year, you’d realise that 2013 was THE year of the angelfish and fairy wrasses. We’ve seen so many fairy wrasses appearing this year, but one thing that we really liked was Cirrhilabrus brunneus. Although Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka obtained a few specimens way back in the day, it is only in 2013 that C. brunneus officially got its name published for the first time to the aquarium masses. A total of three specimens were offered this year from RVS FishWorld.
Chromis sp – It would be a crime if we had let 2013 slip past us without mentioning anything about Rufus’ and Koji’s incredible show stopping collaboration on their deepwater Southern Pacific shipments. Aside from all the rare fish like Cirrhilabrus claire, this cyan blue undescribed chromis was undeniably one of the highlights. Although one specimen was offered before in the past, it was never properly documented and nobody knew where it went. This time, a good number were collected and here we have a stunning photo of a living breathing deepwater Chromis sp.
Paracentropyge boylei – Ok people, nothing really much to say here. In the span of two years, this fish literally went from book fish status, to very few pieces going to selected aquariums and displays causing mass hysteria and seething jealousy, to more than a dozen pieces flying all over the world. Rufus Kimura really outdone himself this time, and this angelfish needs no explanation. The whole world is abuzz, the industry was shaken. THIS fish makes all other debuts a laughing stock. Look at that fish. Look at him smiling at you. He knows he’s the superstar.
So an official close to 2013. We’ve seen plenty this year and its more than I can ever hope for as a rare fish lover. In fact, they could have saved some for 2014, but then again there’s no need to. We know next year’s going to kill it. What do you want to see next? If you think that there’s nothing else that can shock you, think again. There are tons of fish in the sea and there’s one just waiting to blow our minds.