Blue Ocean SARL is on fire collecting exciting fish from Madagascar – a couple weeks ago it was a hybrid tiger angelfish and today it’s the holy grail flasher wrasse, Paracheilinus hemitaeniatus. The little known half banded or ‘Hemi’ flasher wrasse is only known from Madagascar which is why we have hardly ever seen or heard of this fish until Blue Ocean began their collecting station there.
Like all flasher wrasses we knew that the males of Hemi Flasher Wrasses would be colorful in display but we had no idea they would be so BIG! The image above shows a mature male in full adult coloration, although it’s obviously not displaying. But the colors of this fish in ‘relaxed’ mode are simply exquisite.
The anal fin is a veritable neon sign of colors and the markings on the face, head, dorsal fin and half the body are strikingly bold. We thought the eight line fairy wrasse Paracheilinus octotaenia from the Red Sea got large but the Hemi Flashe Wrasse is right up there with it.
Surely the first few specimens to reach aquarium markets around the world will cost a small fortune but hopefully with more and regular exports this is a fish that could eventually be seen outside high end collectors’ aquariums. It’s great to see the collections or ornamental fish paying off – and providing sustainable income for locals – and we can’t wait to see what Blue Ocean SARL will come up with next!