The Threadtail Perchlet, Plectranthias sagamiensis, has been sold in the US for the first time by rare fish importer Unique Fins. Hailing from the deep waters of Japan and Indonesia, P.sagamiensis can be found at depths of over 100 meters, while the pictured specimen here was hand-collected by divers at 60 meters, has been fully acclimated, shipped, quarantined, and now residing with a private collector in Texas.
Perchlet/Pixie hawk collectors will know Plectranthias for their small size at sub 4”, red coloration, micro-predatory behavior, shyness, yet bags of personality. But the Threadtail Perchlet literally wears its mood on its sleeve, displaying the typical red and gold mottling when resting, but changing to almost all white with a yellow head when excited and about to feed. Author Rudie Kuiter also states that the fading becomes more of a feature in large adults, and quotes their maximum size of 10cm/4”.
As we know with deeper water fish, the water is cooler down there, so the captive temperature was carefully raised to 75F. A predator with a grouper-like eye and deceptively largemouth, some Plectranthias may be picky at first, preferring only live feeder shrimp, but this one is said to be feeding on Mysis and chopped Krill.
What we think
Jake Adams was a huge fan of this genus, covering many rare imports over the years, and first covered P.sagamiensis when it appeared in Japanese Aquarium store Blue Harbor in 2009, then later when video emerged from the same store in 2011. We’ve kept Plectranthias for many years, they make good aquarium specimens, and the fact that sagamiensis is now available is a good thing, albeit with a four-figure price tag.
Based on its recent deepwater Japanese imports, Unique Fins has one hell of a dive partner and exporter out in Japan, someone rich should create a deepwater Japanese biotope, and we eagerly look forward to what comes through next.