Today’s Awesome Fish Spotlight features another Curaçao gem from the genus Serranus. We love Serranus, and over the years we’ve covered articles on a wide range of species from this genus. The genus attains highest development in the Atlantic, especially in the Caribbean where aquarium favourites such as S. baldwini, S. tigrinus and the beautiful S. annularis are found. A couple of them are deepwater and are very rarely seen. One of them is the Walleye Basslet, Serranus luciopercanus.
S. luciopercanus is a beautiful basslet that inhabits a wide range of depths, but is generally deepwater. Like Serranus phoebe and Serranus chionaraia, S. luciopercanus is rather cryptic and occurs singly. They are never abundant and are offered only very sporadically, and at rather expensive prices. Also known as the Walleye or Checkered basslet, the juveniles are prominently white based with a series of evenly spaced horizontal black elongated rectangles, lending the fish a distinctive checkerboard pattern.
As they age and mature, the pattern subdues in colour and takes on a less contrasted appearance as seen in the larger ones above. The torpedo and streamlined shape is quite unique to this species, but the behaviour is similar to the rest. They prefer hovering in mid water and making short flitting movements around their environment, quite typical of the genus Serranus.
Apart from the rather hefty price tag, S. luciopercanus like most basslets are hardy and very easy to keep. This video above shows a juvenile at BlueHarbor taking prepared food enthusiastically. With so many choices coming out of Curaçao these days, a deepwater set up featuring fish from that area would be a perfect and novel way of keeping this fish. This tiny juvenile headlining the article is a Dynasty Marine speciality, and was offered to Iwarna Aquafarm of Singapore.