While it may be snowing in your country right around this time of the year, the snow basslet for sure didn’t get its name from the same frozen rain that many have come to love. Or hate, especially if you live in the frozen tundras of Duluth or Buffalo. Today’s Awesome Fish Spotlight features the diminutive snow basslet, and yes like S. luciopercanus posted recently, it too is a basslet coming out of the waters of Curacao.
Serranus chionaraia is a chocolate brown little basslet adorned with white striae and a white belly patch. Like S. phoebe and S. luciopercanus, it too leads a rather solitary cryptic life in the deep waters of Curacao. They are often caught by the curasub at depths of up to 300ft, but sometimes shallower.
Although S. chionaraia is not a colourful fish by any standards, the chocolate brown and snow white patterns make for a rather comforting and dare I say delicious pairing. Looking much like a cake or a decadent dessert, the snow basslet may not appeal to the masses, but for die hard lovers of such fishes it makes for a valuable target.
Like many members in Serranidae, S. chionaraia is a synchronous hermaphrodite which means an individual can produce male and female gametes simultaneously. This also means that any two individuals can pair up and take turns spawning amongst themselves in a process known as egg-trading. For more information on egg-trading, this article on hermaphrodites touches very briefly on the process using hamlets from the genus Hypoplectrus as an example.
Being in the namesake genus, the snow basslet is hardy and very easy to keep. Like S. luciopercanus in the previous Awesome Fish Spotlight, the snow basslet is another Dynasty Marine speciality and this was also offered to Iwarna Aquafarm of Singapore.