It’s been less than two years since Prognathodes geminus was minted a distinct species from the other barred deepwater butterflyfish and today we have some of the first live images of this species in an aquarium setting. Collected by Cairns Marine in the Coral Sea and photographed by Yi-Kai Tea at Iwarna Farm in Singapore the Gem butterflyfish is a juvenile specimen with a perfect bill of health no doubt aided by its rapacious appetite.
Most butterflyfish are fairly light in the coloration department but they more than make up for it with very unique shapes and patterns and this is especially true of the gem butterflyfish’s ‘war crest’ of prominent dorsal fin spines. We might not get many occasions to become familiar with the closely related guezei and basabei butterflyfish species but we can already see the characteristic intrusion of dark coloration in the gem’s fourth and fifth dorsal fin spines.
Having seen video of this perfectly sized aquarium specimen of Prognathodes geminus we were encouraged to see how readily it has taken to eating aquarium foods which will hopefully promote a long and healthy life in the collector’s tank it will call home. Due to its rarity and very deep habitat we likely won’t get many chances to document and share observations of this very rare butterflyfish so we are grateful for the world class images provided by the prolific fish taxonomist Yi-Kai Tea.