Liopropoma santi joins a recent spat of new species to be described from this genus, with Liopropoma olneyi being described just last week. Liopropoma santi is also the result of the deep diving work of the Curasub in Curacao and like its southern Caribbean counterparts it also hails from ludicrous depths.
The “spot tail golden bass” is so named due to the smallest little patch of dark coloration on the bottom lobe of its caudal fin, making it easily distinguishable at a glance from any other species of Liopropoma. L. santi is most closely related to Liopropoma aberrans and L. olneyi, all of which are golden pink in coloration and in addition to that tail-spot, Liopropoma santi is further distinguished by a bright red eye coloration and a unique pattern of light colored chevron stripes along the flank and ventral area.
Liopropoma santi is the deepest known living species of the genus in the Caribbean. While Liopropoma aberrans and L. olneyi may be encountered as relatively shallow as 98 m (321 feet) and 136 meters (436 feet), the new spot tail golden bass has only been sighted between 182 and 241 meters – that’s about 600 to 800 feet deep!
As huge fans of the Liopropoma genus we can’t tell you how excited we are about this steady stream of new species of these beautiful basslets. With the Curasub pushing the depths limits of deep sea exploration only in one location in the Caribbean, we can’t wait to see what the future holds when similar excursions are undertaken in other places of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, and there’s got to be a treasure trove of new Liopropoma in the abyssal depths of the Pacific Ocean. [Pensoft]