A Better Look at the Newly Discovered Fairy Wrasse

Joe RowlettBy Joe Rowlett 2 years ago
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14055146_1159113150813903_3513753957033462451_n Here’s a fresh crop of photos of the gorgeous new fairy wrasse species that was just hauled up from the Northern Philippines. The colors are really impressive on this fish, with its bright red dorsal and ventral fins and the blended orange and red hues of the body. And the black pigmentation atop the head is an interesting trait that we don’t find too terribly often in Cirrhilabrus, occurring only faintly in C. claire and quite strongly in C. laboutei. 14142026_1159114554147096_4045946761347918437_n
The pelvic fins reveal a trace of darkening near their base, which is a common feature in its nearest neighbors, C. roseafascia and C. lanceolatus. In other respects, this fish is quite unique. Most notable is the apparent lack of any prominent striping along the back and face. These are the patterns that tend to light up during nuptial displays, so it’ll be interesting to see how this species colors up. The related C. rubrisquammis from the Maldives is also seemingly unstriped, but, when displaying, develops a prominent stripe right where we would expect for this group. For more information on this fish, be sure to check out my earlier post from today. 

 
Cirrhilabrus jordani group in the Pacific Ocean. Click to enlarge.

Cirrhilabrus lanceolatus group in the Pacific Ocean. Click to enlarge.

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Joe Rowlett
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 Joe Rowlett

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Joe is classically trained in the zoological arts and sciences, with a particular focus on the esoterica of invertebrate taxonomy and evolution. He’s written for several aquarium publications and for many years lorded over the marinelife at Chicago’s venerable Old Town Aquarium. He currently studies prairie insect ecology at the Field Museum of Natural History and fish phylogenetics at the University of Chicago.

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