Scarlet-breasted Maori wrasse
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A new Reef Fish found in Cuba

Recently, a new reef fish, a basslet of the genus Gramma closely related to the Fairy Basslet (Gramma loreto) has been found in the coral reefs close to Trinidad, Cuba. This is the only place this fish has ever been observed, which means it is endemic to Cuba and also highly regional. It was found by aquarist Arie de Jong and is now called Gramma dejongi. The range were G. dejongi is found is at depths between 20 - 30 m and overlaps both with G. loreto (which is preferentially found in more shallow water and G. melacara (the Blackcap Basslet) which is found in deeper reefs.

The new fish has been scientifically studied by Benjamin Victor and John Randall. The genetic barcode, a method to determine the genetic relationship between two species, was found to be identical between G. loreto and the new G. dejongi.

Here you see pictures of the well known Fairy Basslet and the Blackcap Basslet. The new G. dejongi is on none of my pictures - a true challenge for the next dive trips to Cuba. It is especially interesting to see if this species can also be found outside the Trinidad area.