Cirrhilabrus greeni is a gorgeous new species of fairy wrasse which is yet another discovery for Monsoon Aquatics. This distinctive red and yellow reef fish is more than just a little different from what we’ve seen before and entirely deserving of being called the sunset fairy wrasse.
Coming from the eastern edge of the Timor Sea between East Timor and Northwestern Australia, the sunset fairy wrasse was first collected by Tim Green of Monsoon Aquatics after whom the new species is named. Although the sunset wrasse was discovered in a fairly remote region it lives at the modest depth of 18 to 40 meters (60 to 130 feet) in typical fairy wrasse habitat alongside other known species including the newly described monsoon fairy wrasse, Cirrhilabrus hygroxerus.
The red body with a bright yellow underbelly of the sunset fairy wrasse bears a superficial resemblance to the bold yellow stripes of Naoko’s fairy wrasse. However C. greeni has clearish red and yellow fins compared to the dark dorsal and pelvic fins of C. naokoae, also without the exaggerated pelvic and anterior portion of the dorsal fins. What it does have it a red margin to its tail fin with a clear interior making it appear as if it has a lunate shaped fin.
There’s been a hot streak of new species described the last couple years bringing the total number of known fairy wrasses to 57 with 33 of those described since only 1990! The new sunset fairy wrasse is described by Gerald Allen and Michael Hammer in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. [JOSF]