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Gramma dejongi observed outside Cuba

By Leonard Ho - Posted Nov 11, 2013 08:00 AM
Gramma dejongi is a gorgeous basslet that was only recently discovered in Cuba in 2010. In 2013, the first ever G.dejongi was spotted outside of Cuba at Little Cayman Island. This sighting is a big deal for basslet lovers in the United States because now there is the potential to import this fish.
Gramma dejongi observed outside Cuba

Gramma dejogni at Little Cayman Island


The solitary Gramma dejongi was spotted swimming amongst a group of Royal Grammas (G.loreto) in July 2013 at 18 meters deep on a spur-and-groove formation 1.5 km east of the Bloody Bay Marine Park and again in August at the same location, suggesting this species is site-attached.  G. dejongi appears to behave very similarly to G.loreto, often swimming upside down or vertically close to the substrate.  Hopefully this species is also as easy to breed as Royal Grammas.

Due to the United States trade embargo against Cuba, US aquarists are unable to legally obtain Gramma dejongi but perhaps not for much longer.  With the discovery of this basslet at Little Cayman, there is a possibility to collect and import this fish into the USA.  Granted, only one specimen was observed and it was only 220km (135 miles) outside of Cuba.  Still, the observation demonstrates the potential for enlarging G.dejongi's natural distribution as scientists and divers further explore the Caribbean.

Here is a video posted by B-Box Aquarium in Japan in October 2011 of one of the first G.dejongi sold within the hobby.  Beautiful fish, is it not?  It was listed for the princely sum of $4,500 USD.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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