Deep Water Wrasse Named Zeus Described

The Zeus wrasse was named after the god Zeus, who liked to cast bolts of lightning at unsuspecting mortals.

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Zeus wrasse (Pseudojuloides zeus). Unknown photographer
John Virata

Researchers Benjamin C. Victor of the Ocean Science Foundation and the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Jason M.B. Edward of Greenwich Aquaria have discovered and described a new species of deepwater wrasse that is found in the western Pacific Ocean. Two specimens of the wrasse, Pseudojuloides zeus, were collected from the Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands and Palau in Micronesia.

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It is different from other similar wrasses in that it has two jagged blue stripes that run along its body, and a dark spot near the base of the mid dorsal fin. The fish was first collected in 1997, during what was called the Twilight Zone Expedition, by the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Since then, several other specimens have been collected for the aquarium trade, all from deep reefs.

The Zeus wrasse grows to about 60mm in length and has a yellowish head with a yellow to clear dorsal fin, a yellowish black and jagged edged blue stripes that run down its back. In between the blue stripes are brownish scales. The dorsal fin is yellow with a large black spot at the base of the mid-dorsal fin.

The complete paper can be found on the Ocean Science Foundation website.


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Article Categories:
Fish · Saltwater Fish