Pseudojuloides is a wonderful albeit surprisingly unpopular genus of sand dwelling wrasse that deserves more attention. Out of slightly more than a dozen members including several new and undescribed species, none is more captivating and beautiful as Pseudojuloides atavai. Hailing from the French Polynesia, P. atavai is very rarely seen in the trade but has made a more frequent appearance in the recent years owing to collection stations in Tahiti.
Unlike the predominantly green based members in Pseudojuloides, males of P. atavai are unique in having a two toned colouration that separates vertically down the middle. The first half of the body is a deep sunset yellow with a network of darker scribbling on the face, which transcends along the length, edging some of the yellow scales until it reaches the second half of the body where it is uniformly inky black.
Females are also highly unique in their appearance from the standard Pseudojuloides form, and are snow white with a chest nut cap running length wise along its dorsum. The demarkation between both colours is distinctively cerulean and makes for a very clean and sharp looking fish. *It is good to note that an undescribed species in Saipan has the female looking identical to P. atavai, but the males are entirely black sans an orange belt behind the gill. These two species do not overlap in range and thus should not be confused.
Atlantis Aquarium in Germany scored a beautiful trio as seen in the video above, which shows perfectly the unique coloration of both males and that extraordinary looking female. If only the video was in HD though!