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Tropical Diver presented by Southwest

Squarespot anthias

Squarespot anthias

(Pseudanthias pleurotaenia)

The squarespot anthias is a small marine fish that inhabits coral reefs in the western and southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is most frequently found above current-swept drop-offs .The species exhibits a range of brilliant colors including red, orange yellow and purple. Typically, the male has a large magenta patch on its sides just behind the gill cover.

This anthias most frequently is seen in aggregations of as many as a thousand individuals made up of many females and a much smaller number of males. Each aggregation is an assemblage of smaller groups or “harems” consisting of one male and up to twenty females.

You can find this anthias and others in one of the largest reef exhibits in the world in the Tropical Diver gallery.

Fun Facts

  • This fish is also called the “square-spot fairy basslet”.
  • The magenta spot on the male is most prominent during courtship.
  • The squarespot anthias can change gender from female to male due to environmental or social factors.
  • Juveniles are solitary and remain close to areas of branching corals where they can seek shelter.
  • This species is rarely seen in the home aquarium trade.
  • Download full fact sheet

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