Chelidoperca is a genus of deepwater basslets which are completely unknown in the aquarium world, which is a shame because these fish are fairly colorful with interesting color patterns. Chelidoperca santosi is the latest species to be described from this genus whose species “sightings” seem to be concentrated in the west and northwest pacific ocean where small scale fishing occasionally brings them up from incredible depths.
Species belonging to Chelidoperca look like an even mix between the popular Plectranthias basslets and sandperches of the genus Parapercis sharing the beautiful red and yellow colors and patterns of the former, with an elongate body shape like the latter. The newly described Chelidoperca santosi was actually discovered from a single specimen at a fish market in Palawan Philippines.
C. santosi is distinguished from other congeners by having a white anal fin with six yellow spots and the presence of yellow barring on the caudal fin. Despite this new species being described from a single fish market specimen, we were able to dig up another specimen featured on the Japanese website Kochi-U which appears to show this species with its yellow-spotted, white anal fin, and yellow barred caudal fin.
It’s a pity that we don’t see more of the species in the genus Chelidoperca because as you can see from these photos of freshly fished specimens this fish would be a beautiful addition to marine aquariums. The only problem is that if you think it’s hard to get deepwater fish from 200 feet deep or more, the species of Chelidoperca only begin to appear around 200 feet and they seem to be documented more often from 100 to 200 meters (330-660 feet) deep so good luck finding, catching and decompressing a fish like that. [BioTaxa]