Sci­en­tists de­lighted but puz­zled by new, strik­ingly coloured, ‘emer­ald in a coal mine’ An­thias.

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Contents -

Fas­ci­nat­ing deep-sea species dis­cov­er­ies, ec­static oc­to­puses, speedy sharks and a trib­ute to the late Jack Wat­t­ley, the ‘god­fa­ther of Discus’.

Re­searchers from the cal­i­for­nia acad­emy of sciences, div­ing on the st Paul’s rocks, a deep-wa­ter reef 1,000 miles off the at­lantic coast of Brazil, have dis­cov­ered a bril­liantly coloured new species of an­thias.

The divers were 130m down when the small fish caught their eye – its neon pink and yel­low body and green fins made it stand out “like an emer­ald in a coal mine”. fur­ther mor­pho­log­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion along­side DNA anal­y­sis con­firmed the fish is in­deed new to science, and has been named Tosanoides

aphrodite in hon­our of the Greek god­dess of beauty and love. This is only the fourth Tosanoides species dis­cov­ered, and the first to be found in the at­lantic (the oth­ers live in the Pa­cific).

fe­males are a solid red­dish-orange – typ­i­cal of many ‘twi­light zone’ dwelling fish as red and blue light can’t pen­e­trate to this depth, so it helps with cam­ou­flage.

how­ever, the rea­son for the males’ ‘high­lighter pen’ coloura­tion is still be­ing ex­plored as it goes against this the­ory. The sci­en­tists are se­quenc­ing the fish’s vi­sion genes to try to bet­ter un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of their ex­trav­a­gant colour scheme.

A stun­ning dis­cov­ery.

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