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Tropical Diver presented by Southwest

Scalefin anthias

Scalefin anthias

(Pseudanthias squamipinnis)

The scalefin anthias occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Southwest Japan, Palau and East Australia. This species prefers to swim in lagoons, shallow and outer reefs to depths of 6 to 66 feet.

Females are orange with a violet-edged orange stripe that runs from the eye to the base of the pectoral fin. The males have two different color variations; there is a red variation with yellow spots on its scales and a purple variation with shades of purple, yellow and green. All males have a long third dorsal spine.

Look for the scalefin anthias in the Tropical Diver gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The scalefin anthias form groups where the females outnumber the males.
  • In these schools are complex social groups or harems led by the largest and most colorful male.
  • At dusk the dominant males from each harem participate and perform courtship dances. These dances involve frenzied and zigzag swimming to entice and attract the females from their group.
  • Anthias are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can change sex from male to female. They all begin their lives as females.
  • Due to environmental or social factors, the dominant male is capable of changing its sex in a period of 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Download full fact sheet

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