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Lyretail anthias

Pseudanthias squamipinnis

Description: The male Lyretail anthias are often solid pink although sometimes they have a white yellow band across 1/3 of their body. The females are yellowish-orange with a purple and pink stripe that runs from their eye toward their pelvic fins.

Behavior: Males of this species are territorial and watch over several females. If the dominant male dies, the most dominant female in the group will become a male and replace him. They are aggressive towards each other and smaller, passive fish.

Size: Males reach about six inches (15 cm) and the females are slightly smaller.

Diet: These anthias feed on zooplankton.

Reproduction: Males choose a harem of females with which to mate. In the absence of a male, the dominant female will become a male. In this case, the female’s orange coloration will change to pink and her dorsal fin will become more ornate. They are pelagic spawners. After the male’s courtship display, gametes are released into open water and believed to hatch within 20 hours and within three or so days, can feed on their own.

Habitat/range: They are most often found in patch reefs, channels and outer reef slopes in the Indo- West Pacific, specifically the Red Sea and the East African Coast.

Status: Not evaluated on the IUCN Red List.