It seems like you can barely turn around without scientists unveiling some new species. Where do all of these elusive critters hide, anyway? Have they just been sleeping under rocks for the past 5,000 years?
Well, wherever they’ve been, we’ve finally got them on camera. Reef Fishes of the East Indies is a massive, $250 book with over 1,300 pages of exotic reef species. Authors Gerald Allen and Mark Erdmann are real stand-up guys. They devoted their lives to traveling the world to research local wildlife. Their new book covers 2,600 species (holy cow!) of indigenous fish, including 25 brand new species. The book includes pictures of these never-before-seen fish, and you get to lay eyes on them right here on Okeanos Aquascaping.
Not every species that you’ll see here are from the set of 25 newly-discovered species, but a few are. We’ve known about many of these species, but some of them have never had their mugshot published before. The problem is that some species are so rare and there are just so many different varieties of fish that nobody has every actually taken the time to write down every single known fact about each species fish from the East Indies. I mean, didn’t you catch what I said earlier about their being 2,600 species?! It must have taken years and years to complete this book.
This orange and blue-tipped beauty was one of the favorites of Mark Erdmann during his expedition to Indonesia. He immortalized his love for his daughter by naming the basslet after her, though it will probably be a while before the fish earns a common name.
Nicknamed “candy-striper,” this odd-looking fish looks almost like a piece of stretched-out saltwater taffy. This lilliputian clingfish features brownish-red stripes and likes to spend its time hanging out on coral. It’s one of the new species that the scientists spotted on their trip.
The third and final new species that you can take a gander at without dropping $250 on the book, this fairy goby hails from the waters of Raja Ampat.
How long has it been since you’ve seen a fish with eyebrows?
Not every species the divers came across was beautiful. This one is toothy and doesn’t look friendly.
What am I even looking at? This (apparently) is a male psychedelic frog fish who is incubating eggs. Perhaps he took a page out of the seahorses’ book?
Gorgeous! This would be an excellent addition to any aquarium.
Some species, like this Tudor Jones’ dragonet, are getting proper coverage for the first time.
Is anybody else reminded of the unique patterns on the wings of butterflies?
So, there you have it. Not every one of these fish species are new, but the first three are. If you want to get a full readout of the physical characteristics, breeding habits, and diets of these captivating reef fish, then you’re going to have to start saving up for what will undoubtedly be the definitive guide on East Indies reef fish.