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Blotchy anthias

Odontanthias borbonius

Description: Blotchy anthias (Odontanthias borbonius) is a rare deep water anthias. The body is pink with irregular-shaped markings of a rustic golden hue and the fins are a lighter lemon-yellow. The anterior dorsal fin has spines, while the soft dorsal fin and tail terminate in filaments.

Size: This anthias grows to about six inches (15.0 cm) in length.

Behavior: Like other anthias, they are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they are born female and sometime later in life they change to male. When the dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will change into a male to take its place. Blotchy anthias are quite active and are also very competitive.

Diet: In the wild, they feed mainly on zooplankton and floating filamentous algae.

Communication: During courtship, males display by flicking their ventral fins.

Reproduction: They are pelagic spawners. During courtship, males will display to attract a female. He starts above the reef and dives down toward the bottom, ‘waving’ his ventral fins. He then returns to above the reef. He continues this pattern until he attracts a female. Once the attraction is made, the female joins the male in his pattern swim and gametes are released in the water column.

Habitat/range: Blotchy anthias is a pelagic- oceanic (deep water) fish found at depths up to 984
feet (300 m) among rocky reefs and caves in the Indo-Pacific, from South Africa to Palau, north to Japan and south to Indonesia.

Status: This species has not been assessed by IUCN Red List.