The Harlequin Goldie, Pseudanthias connelli is an iconic member of the underwater marine aquarium community in its native range of South Africa. A member of the widely distributed Pseudanthias genus, the males of this species sport a dramatically different color and pattern which is unmistakable with any other congener, whether the male is in relaxed or nuptial coloration.
The standard color of a male Harlequin Goldie is nearly bicolored with a yellow posterior half of the body that is interrupted by a large red to maroon patch made up of two converging broad stripes. The ventral part of the body, pelvic fin, and anal fin are nearly stark white and when the males of this species color up to impress the ladies, the yellow part of the body becomes pink to purple and all other colors intensify to create an anthias that really looks like none other.
Harlequin are not deep water fish per se, but they’re not shallow water either, and having been collected north of Durban these fish are definitely accustomed to cooler water temperatures than our typical marine aquariums. Creating a small school of these fish will be an investment for whoever obtains them and care should be taken to offer these fish relatively cooler water in the high 16ºC/60ºF degrees so that they can live a long and colorful life.
Needless to say, if this species was available in any numbers outside of South Africa it would be a very popular marine aquarium fish, but since this species is endemic to the region it has never been available, until now. Dejong Marinelife’s vast network of marinelife collectors have managed to supply them with a number of Pseudanthias connelli and we’ve got exclusive pictures of these striking fish in their aquariums.
Just under twenty of these beautiful South African fish were supplied in a very even sex ratio of males to females, they are all about 8 to 10cm long, so a nice robust size for settling into aquarium life. Since this is the first time have ever been made available outside South Africa, and we’re talking about an incredibly colorful and unmistakable anthias species, it’s certain that these fish will be very pricey indeed, and we almost feel that these fish should be picked up in large groups by public aquariums to be put on display for many people to enjoy.