Hoplolatilus oreni is an interesting, beautiful and colorful species of tilefish that we had never even heard of before fall of last year. Before that fateful photo was taken in South Africa, the deepwater Hoplolatilus oreni was only known from the Red Sea and illustrated by one lonely line drawing.
That photo was very important for our understanding of Oren’s tilefish because it singlehandedly extended the range of this unforgettable fish by thousands of kilometers, and placing some of that within the territories of ornamental fish collectors. Well wouldn’t you know it, a usual player in the world of exotic fish, Iwarna Aquafarm in Singapore landed one of the first live specimen of Hoplolatilus oreni ever seen in the aquarium hobby, or anywhere outside a reef for that matter.
These updated photos only serve to confirm and even reinforce this rare tilefish’s pretty colors and radical appearance. Tilefish aren’t impossible to keep, and there’s nothing inherently preventing them from a long aquarium life but it seems that any number of factors including a severe proclivity to jumping has kept the group from being popular aquarium fish. With our serious investment in high performance aquarium lids we’re strongly hoping to foster some tilefish species at the studio in the future, and would love for any Hoplolatilus oreni to come our way.