For twenty years Cairns Marine has been a leading collector and supplier of sustainably harvested marine aquarium livestock and for most of Reef Builders’ existence Cairns Marine has been an invaluable partner in helping us get the word out about their coolest finds. Of all the marine life suppliers in the world, very few take their job as seriously, professionally and responsibly as Cairns Marine which explains why they have become a shining example of how aquarium businesses and natural resources can have a mutually beneficial relationship.
When you have a keen eye for marine life and you handle a lot of livestock, it’s easy to come across a number of specimens which are truly post-worthy. From one-of-a-kind fish to new species to really hot and exciting corals, we’ve featured Cairns Marine’s exploits and achievements countless times over the years, so much so that it was time to highlight a few of our favorites which bubbled to the top.
The half-naked jawfish, Opistognathus seminudus, may not be as striking as more commonly encountered species of jawfish in the aquarium trade, but what this interesting small jawfish lacks in pizzaz it more than makes up for with its character. This species of jawfish was only described ten years ago and it is part of a small group of jawfishes that are endemic to a small region of Australia.
Bodianus paraleucosticticus is the seminal deepwater hogfish with an iconic body shape and pattern that is only imitated by other species in the genus. This species is as hard to get as its name is challenging to pronounce but the only two collected in recent memory came from Cairns Marine’s Coral Sea collecting efforts.
Sure the seas around Australia are teeming with amazingly colorful acros and unbelievably colored LPS corals but the Hero Coral, Turbinaria heronensis is one species who’s unique shape and care requirements can be appreciated by even the most entrenched rare fish junkies. There’s loads more uncommon coral waiting to be sustainably harvested in the waters that Cairns Marine frequents and we can’t wait to see what species will be worthy of its own feature next.
The reveal that Cairns Marine had collected a hereto unknown color morph of the common Koran angelfish with an extremely rare cobalt-blue face and highlights was a bombshell for rare marine fish fanciers all over the world. This large adult specimen of a blue-face koran angelfish is among one of the rarest large Pomacanthus variants in the world – there’s still no explanation for how or why this particular Koran got its blue grooves.
Not that Cairns Marine had anything to prove, but when they collected the Blackspot Pygmy angelfish in the Coral Sea, in our mind they cemented their place in the annals of aquarium and marine life history. Centropyge nigriocella is a very poorly known species and Cairns Marine’s blackspot pygmy angelfish is only the second ever such specimen to be collected alive for the aquarium trade.