Rare deep water fishes from the Sea of Cortez - coming soon!
The Splittail Bass (Hemanthias peruanus) is a deep water species from tropical Eastern Pacific waters (from Baja California down to Northern Chili). They are found at depths between 20 meters (65 feet) and 120 meters (400 feet!). This species is a mix of vibrant red and yellow, with a very pronounced third dorsal fin filament and an impressive red/yellow split tail - hence its common name.
This species (along with a few other rare Eastern Pacific deep water species we'll reveal this week) will be available for the first time in the aquarium trade through Cortez Marine (wholesale only). The net-caught specimens require two days of decompression.
To the best of my knowledge and also that of the collector, H.peruanus has never been collected for live display. Documentation on captive care is nonexistent. On the Baja reefs, the Splittail Bass forms patriarchal schools and feed on zooplankton from the water column. Hemanthias essentially behave like giant Anthias (Hemanthias are, after all, in the subfamily Anthiinae).
A fair warning to anyone interested in the Splittail Bass: Hemanthias peruanus grows up to 45cm (18 inches). This fish would make a stunning addition to any larger aquarium. Can you just imagine a school of Splittail Basses in a huge aquarium?