Tosanoides aphrodite is a remarkable new species of anthias for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s the first member of its genus Tosanoides to be discovered outside the Pacific Ocean. Secondly this species was found at the fabled St. Paul’s Rock, an isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean some distance from the Brazil coast and home of the ‘magical’ St. Paul’s Rock Queen Angelfish morphs.
The discovery was made by divers from the California Academy of Sciences who spotted this very distinctive looking new anthias at a depth of 120 meters, just shy of 400 feet down. Upon first seeing the new Tosanoides aphrodite the CAS researchers knew immediately they had a new species in their sights, but it took genetic analysis to confirm this species was actually from the Pacific Tosanoides genus.
Like other anthias species, the male is more colorful and distinctive than the females but in this case it is remarkably so. The male Tosanoides aphrodite is a vivid fuschia pink in coloration with bright yellow scribbled lines down the sides with red spots, and mostly yellow fins outlined in pink.
The new Aphrodite anthias is a fitting species to bestow the name of the goddess of beauty, since it looks more or less like a larger more colorful version of a ventralis anthias. Tosanoides aphrodite has a maximum size of just around 78mm for the males which is just a hair over three inches long.
This new anthias, Tosanoides aphrodite has got to be one of the most beautiful and colorful fish in the Atlantic Ocean and certainly the most exciting species to be described since Gramma dejongi from Cuba. T. aphrodite is described by Pnheiro, Rocha & Rocha in the latest edition of ZooKeys.