The Curasub responsible for so many new discoveries and new species in Curacao is on the move. As part of the Smithsonian Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP), a team of researchers and the Curasub are currently in Dominica, to do some deep diving and see what they can find on the reefs beyond recreational scuba depths.
Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is a small island in the Lesser Antilles group of the Eastern Caribbean Sea. This far flung island is well off the beaten path for both recreational divers, fish collections and research scientists, making Dominica an ideal place to go and discover something new.
New species of deep dwelling reef life is DROP’s main objective, and this week they pulled up this gorgeous undescribed species of red hogfish from 330 feet deep. The small reddish pink Decodon appears like the juvenile form of the Decodon sp. that Barry Brown photographed in Curacao a couple of years back.
Interestingly, at this size the small fish with its tapering body, pinkish coloration and yellow fins bears a superficial resemblance to the deepwater Liopropoma olneyi and L. santi that have also been discovered from these sorts of deepwater habitats in recent years. As with all discoveries of the deep reef, it’ll probably be a matter of time until more new species are discovered in these little explored habitats. [Chapman Expeditions]