A new, fourth species of Pineapple fish has been described from specimens collected in Taiwan. Named Monocentris chrysadamas, or the Golden Diamond Pineapple Fish, it lives sympatrically with the very similar Monocentris japonicus, but was found to be a new separate species by way of its meristics (scale counts,) and DNA barcoding. Monocentris chrysadamas joins M. japonicus and M.reedi, and the monotypic Cleidopus gloriamaris as the now four valid species within the family Monocentridae. Of 150 specimens collected, six of them were thought to be hybrids between Monocentris chrysadamas and japonicus. The new species was described by Yo Su, Hsiu-Chin Lin, and Hsuan-Ching Ho, and published in the Journal Zootaxa.
Pineapple or Pinecone fishes are recognizable by their prominent yellow, pinecone scale patterns and bioluminescent light organs on the jaw which they use to lure prey. In nature, they live in caves at depths of up to 300 meters, where they prey on mouth-sized fish and shrimp. They are widely distributed across the Indo-Pacific and the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Not fish for reef aquaria, Pineapple fish are fairly regular imports and candidates for fish-only saltwater aquariums due to their oddball appearance. If you can wean them off live foods they may live for ten years or more in captivity and grow to 10”/26cm in length, depending on the species. The specimens were collected by way of bottom trawl with the largest M.chrysadamas measuring 127.6 mm and the largest M.japonicus, 147.0 mm. The former is thought to be a smaller species. The need for subdued lighting, caves, and overhangs in captive aquaria is a given.