The yellow eye sweeper, Pempheris flavicycla is new species of a group that gets no airtime in the aquarium, but just because we don’t acknowledge them doesn’t exist in beautifully colored species. For the unfamiliar with sweepers, their overall shape is like a cross between a cardinalfish and a mono, although sweepers are part of their own family, Pempheridae.
The new Pempheris flavicycla is distinguished from the closely related P. vanicolensis with two subspecies distributed in the Indian Ocean, P. flavicycla flavicycla and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba, P. flavicycla marisrubri. After the Red Sea Leopard Wrasse, the yellow-eye sweeper, also from the Red Sea, is the latest marine reef fish to be given a subspecies designation, something which is common in freshwater fish but rarely used for reef fish.
The new yellow eye sweeper is very much a post-worthy fish, and a potentially great schooling fish candidate with lots of color. An ochre-orange colored body is highlighted by a blue edge to the anal fin and of course, a bright yellow iris to the eye and as you’ve seen with the blue-eyed cocos-island lemonpeel angelfish, we’re a sucker for fish with pretty eyes.