Check out this new Liopropoma sent to me by my fish buddy, Kevin Kohen at www.liveaquaria .com (go see the fish they have for sale by clicking the link on the right side of the page). At first I thought it was the pinstripe reef basslet (Liopropoma susumi), but after closer inspection I have concluded it may be something different. The nostril and head pore pattern (you can see them in the accompanying photo), the pectoral ray count (14 rather than the 15 or 16 present in L. susumi) and the color don’t quite match-up with the pinstripe reef basslet. According to Kev, my fish came from Indonesia. Like others in the genus, it is proving to be quite secretive, although he just arrived last night and is already coming out to accept mysid shrimp (he makes very quick forays into the open to snag the food items and then dashes back to cover). I am a huge fan of the reef basslets, although they are too secretive for some aquarists. To me, a fish that occasionally pops out to make its presence known (or at least to snap up a morsel), makes a fascinating and mysterious addition to the reef tank. Thanks for this one Kev!
(In a future post, I will present photos of some closely related Liopropoma to aid those interested in telling them apart.)