RVS has told Reef Builders that it has found a new location for Squire’s wrasses in Papua New Guinea. The find is just one of many fish and invertebrate gems that RVS has discovered in the country since gaining licenses to collect there and setting up new export company Golden Ocean PNG Ltd. Squire’s wrasses came as recently to the hobby as 2012, were available exclusively from Cairns Marine and had a price tag to match their rarity. Previously thought only to occur on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Cairns Marine itself noted a range extension when it found them on the Northern Great Barrier Reef, and the species is named after Lyle Squire of Cairns Marine. Golden Ocean collected their fish from two locations off South East Papua New Guinea, at location depths between 35 and 45 meters/114-147’.
If the fish collected by Golden Ocean are Cirrhilabrus squirei then that range just extended further North and East to Papua New Guinea, and that’s a super exciting find. Barnett Shutman describes PNG as a beautiful country, rich in discoveries, and told Reef Builders they found flasher wrasses in huge numbers there, including P.rubricaudalis and the much coveted Cirrhilabrus lineatus. Other finds include Regal angelfish, Watanabei angelfish, Regal tangs, and Scarus spp. Parrotfish to name just a few. Papua New Guinea has a lot to offer the hobby and it’s great to see increased availability of species like Cirrhilabrus squirei from PNG when we are still without Cirrhilabrus jordani from Hawaii. Today is a good day for Wrasse collectors.