In traditional festivities, the rarest of the rare and coolest fish stories are always lurking around the year end corner waiting to make their debut. Vying for the top spot in our 2014 recap post ahead is this incredible Liopropoma fasciatum at Sea Dwelling Creatures. This is the first time we’ve ever seen this species making a trade appearance.
L. fasciatum is a large predatory member of the Liopropoma genus that inhabits the Eastern Pacific ocean of the Americas. Although occasionally caught by hook and line, L. fasciatum is almost never seen in the trade, and this is to our knowledge an industry first. The only record of a captive specimen was of a large individual belonging to Steinhart Aquarium back in the 70s.
Also known as the rainbow bass, L. fasciatum bears some similarities to the more ubiquitous L. eukrines, but is more heavily striped and coloured a beautiful rich mangosteen purple. The body is decorated with two transverse yellow belts that run horizontally across the body.
A deepwater species, L. fasciatum is seen most often at depths below 33m, although it can be found living very comfortably in far deeper waters. We’re not sure where these were collected from, but Nicaragua or Ecuador may be most likely.
Unlike many of the smaller reef suitable members, L. fasciatum is best housed in a fish only display well away from anything small enough to fit in its mouth. We’re expected to receive some in the next few days, and if everything goes well we’ll be sure to update with more photos of this boisterous beauty.