Square-block Anthias

(Pseudanthias pleurotaenia)

Pseudanthias pleurotaenia, commonly known as the Square-block anthias or Blotch anthias, is a species of anthias belonging to the family Serranidae. Here’s an overview of this fish:

  1. Appearance: Pseudanthias pleurotaenia is known for its vibrant coloration and distinct markings. It has a slender, elongated body with a pointed snout. The coloration varies between males and females:
    • Male: Males are typically bright orange to red with a yellow stripe along the back, extending from the head to the tail. They also have a prominent square-shaped blotch near the base of the tail, which gives them their common name “Squareback anthias.”
    • Female: Females are generally paler in color, ranging from yellowish to pinkish, and lack the intense coloration and markings of the males.
  2. Distribution: This species is found in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, East Africa, and the western Pacific Ocean. It inhabits coral reefs and lagoons, often found in areas with strong currents.
  3. Habitat: Square-block anthias are typically found in groups hovering above coral heads or along reef slopes. They prefer areas with abundant coral cover and are commonly observed in depths ranging from about 5 to 40 meters (16 to 131 feet).
  4. Behavior: Pseudanthias pleurotaenia is a planktivorous fish, feeding on zooplankton and small crustaceans in the water column. They are diurnal (active during the day) and form social groups, with males displaying dominance hierarchies.