So many Anthias – Just one of the Reasons I love the Red Sea so Much

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One of the joys of the Red Sea is pretty simple: the sheer number of fish, and in terms of numbers alone, there are few fishes in greater number than anthias.

I’ve started this post with one of my favorite species, the Red Sea Anthias (Pseudanthias taeniatus).  These are the striped fish, the rest are P. squamipinnis.  P. taeniatus is in my experience a deeper water fish.  It is replaced by P. townsendi in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Gulf.  This shot was taken at around twenty meters.

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The shot above is a little more representative, especially along the reefs, drop offs and walls associated with the off shore regions of the Red Sea where disturbance and pollution are limited and the currents are a little stronger.  The anthias here are entirely P. squamipinnis.  What looks to be a Coral Hind (Cephalopholis miniata) is lurking on the right.

The image above shows another reef, again full of squammies.  There’s a lot of Sinularia growing here as well as some coraline algae which gives the reef a lot of colour.

Another shot from the same reef.  If you look closely you can see the male squammies, fewer in number than the females, and more strikingly colored.  The males have to work harder than the females it appears, they tend to swim a little farther away from the reef to keep their eyes on their harems, meaning they experience a little more current.

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  Fish, Photography
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 Richard Aspinall

  (369 articles)

Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.

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