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Two new species of deep-water Grammatonotus fishes from Pohnpei

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 15, 2017 09:00 AM
Surveys of deep reefs (a few hundred meters down) are discovering exciting and gorgeous fish species previously unseen by man. Two striking Grammatonotus (AKA Groppos) species have just been described.
Two new species of deep-water Grammatonotus fishes from Pohnpei

Grammatonotus xanthostigma. Pohnpei; BPBM 41294, 57 mm SL. Photograph by Brian D. Greene.

Groppos are anthias-like Callanthiidae fish currently native to the Indian and Pacific Ocean.  They are found deep down in the twilight zone, where many exotic and vibrantly colored reef fish are found.  Groppos are planktivorous fishes.

Specimens of these then-unknown groppos were net-collected at deep-water Pohnpei coral reefs by Brian Greene back in late 2015.  The two fish are now described as new species in the Zootaxa (open access paper).  Counting the newly described species, only ten species of groppos are currently recognized; more are likely to be discovered thanks to technology allowing scientists to explore deep reefs.


Grammatonotus pelipel. Pohnpei; holotype, BPBM 41273, 49.3 mm SL. Photograph by Brian D. Greene

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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