Cairns Marine fish collector Tim Bennett has found a new species of serranid fish in the Coral Sea and it retains similar color combinations as other fish in the genus.
The fish, Plectranthias bennetti, or Bennett’s perchlet, is about 50mm in length from snout to vent, has 15 dorsal fin rays and is red, orange, and white in coloration, with the orangeish yellow colors primarily on the face and nose. The red stripes are solid while the white is broken up with red splotches. The fish was collected at the Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea, more than 63 meters deep from a ceiling of a cave. A second specimen was captured a few months prior to this single species, but it was sold in the marine aquarium trade in Japan.
Serranid fishes inhabit deep water reefs in the Indo-Pacific, New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan. They are known to have big mouths and eyes which are closely placed atop their head. There coloration is usually red, orange, and pearl, with smatterings of white, depending on the species. They feed on smaller fishes and crustaceans.
The fish is fully described by Gerald R. Allen of the Department of Aquatic Zoology, Western Australian Museum and Fenton Walsh. You can read the paper on the Ocean Science Foundation website.
John B. Virata has been keeping fish since he was 10 years old. He currently keeps an 80 gallon cichlid tank, a 20 gallon freshwater community tank and a 29 gallon BioCube with a Percula clown, a huge blue green chromis, and a firefish all in his kitchen, and a 55 gallon FOWLR tank with a pair of Ocellaris clowns, two blue green chromis, a six line wrasse, a peppermint shrimp, assorted algae and a few aiptasia anemones in his living room. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata