Polynesia is an alien world of unknown reef fishes in the aquarium world and topping the list of must-haves from the region is Pseudojuloides atavai. The Atavai wrasse is one of those obscure species of slender wrasses whose congeners are poorly known, and not particularly hardy but “wrasse people” with a knack for labrids seem to do well with them when healthy specimens are provided.
Although some of the lesser known species are rare and only hold potential vibrance in fully developed male specimens, what makes Pseudojuloides truly special is that both sexes of the fish are truly exquisite in their appearance. Female Atavai wrasses have a brilliant bicolored white and deep orange color that is diagonally bisected by a thin black and electric blue stripe.
Meanwhile the males of Pseudojuloides atavai become dark black overall while retaining the bright orange color on the dorsal part of the body, but with a glowing yellow head and anterior portion of the body which also sports a degree of orange vermiculation! You practically don’t need a picture to appreciate the potential awesomeness of this slender wrasse species, but thankfully it appears that Pacific East Aquaculture has landed a splendid pair.
The last time a picture-perfect Atavai wrasse was offered was also from PEA but it was only a male and the asking price was $1000. Pacific East is flaunting a gorgeous photogenic pair and this time around they are only $800 for two excellent fishes. A lot of the more obscure rare reef fish are offered at inflated prices because they are just that rare but the picture of PEA’s Atavai wrasse pair speaks for itself. [Pacific East Aquaculture]