We’re continuing with the Awesome Fish Spotlight mini series this year and today we feature a most beautiful aquarium staple – the Sunburst Anthias. Also known as the fathead anthias, it is the only member of the genus Serranocirrhitus, and its morphology as well as its behaviour differs slightly from the typical Pseudanthias anthias.
Serranocirrhitus latus is primarily two toned, with a deep peachy orange fading towards a purplish belly. Each scale is coloured yellowish-orange and overall, the fish displays a warm saturated glow. The tribal like facial markings on its high profiled head features a diadem on its nape, as well as two yellow streaks on the cheek.
Sunburst anthias are common in the hobby, moderately easy and are relatively inexpensive. Unlike the slender shallower water Pseudanthias which are built for fast moving currents and active reef life, the sunburst anthias is a more sullen, slower moving species which prefers keeping near corals and rock work. While they can adapt to brightly lit reef tanks, a more subdued environment may be needed initially to coax them into feeding and exploring their surroundings.
For reefers who are big fans of anthias but are handicapped by smaller tank sizes, this is the perfect fish to try. They are less active than the regular Pseudanthias and do not require as much space, which makes this a great addition for a smaller more peaceful set up. Do take note of their maximum size, and try getting small specimens. They tend to grow slowly and are not likely to outgrow the tank or reach their maximum size in the wild. The pristine specimen in the pink of health shown above lives happily in the display tank of Iwarna Aquafarm, Singapore.