Joe Rowlett
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4.0 Cirrhilabrus laboutei & the Origins of Fairy Wrasse Diversity

At last, we’ve reached the thrilling conclusion to this comprehensive review of Fairy Wrasse evolution, and it’s time to once more dwell upon the topic of the group’s origins. As we’ve previously discussed, this enormously diverse genus can be comfortably categorized…

Sea Cucumber Pretends It’s A Coral

Sometimes it seems like every creature living on a coral reef has at least one species which mimics it. Take, for instance, this juvenile sea cucumber, Thelenota ananas, which has mastered the art of being Pocillopora. Question is… can it…

Xynosphaera: the Parasitic Nephthea Shrimp

Green Nephthea is one of the most colorful and popular soft corals in the aquarium hobby, but most aquarists (and scientists) have never heard of the curious crustacean which calls it home. The above illustration [credit: Bruce, 1994] depicts Xynosphaera colemani,…

Omegophora pufferfish appears in Japan

In our recent article on rare dogface pufferfishes, we were able to cover every species except for the one which inspired the article. The image below is of an Australian pufferfish which has recently made its way to Blue Harbor in Japan,…

The rarely seen Striking Sea Star

Despite the diversity of sea stars that abound in tropical waters, relatively few species find their way into aquariums with any regularity. One of the most interesting species—morphologically, behaviorally and evolutionarily—is also one of the most seldomly encountered: the “Striking…

Rare species of Arothron pufferfishes

Dogface pufferfishes are as common a marine fish as you’ll find in the aquarium hobby, but this is by no means true of all the species in this diverse group. The genus Arothron, as currently classified, contains fifteen species, several…

Peanut Worms in the Reef Aquarium

A well-stocked reef aquarium can be a diverse place, full of invertebrate surprises. But identifying the fauna traipsing about on live rock can be a challenge for the average aquarist and few creatures are quite so confusing as the Peanut Worm.…

The Gorgon Worm: Gorgonorhynchus

Ribbon worms (Phylum Nemertea) are an unfamiliar group of invertebrates to aquarists and the general public alike. Despite their occasionally immense size, this unique phylum of animal life is seldom on anyone’s radar. Which is why it came as a…

0.0 Fairy Wrasses: A review of the genus Cirrhilabrus

Fairy wrasses are some of the most ubiquitous fishes in the marine aquarium trade, which is why it may come as a surprise to learn that the group has never received a serious taxonomic review. The scientific literature is filled…

Brazilian Lionfish Discovered!

In their slow and steady march towards Atlantic reef dominance, the invasive lionfish Pterois volitans has at last crossed the final hurdle and been found in the reefs of Southeastern Brazil. To do so required it to traverse some inhospitable…