Anthias: Those Fancy Basses
by Bob Goemans
These fishes belong in the Order Perciformes, which is not only the largest order within the class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes); it is by far the largest order in the subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates). In fact, overall this order has about 93,000 species, valid ones at that, and represents almost 25% of all known vertebrate animals. Containing 148 families, it groups together all perch-like fishes, including not only those found in the aquarium trade, such as anthias and groupers, but also game and oceanic fishes such as marlin, bonito, billfish, skipjack, and albacore. Where aquarists are concerned, the members of the Family Serranidae (Groupers & Anthias) are of particular interest, with those in its Subfamily Anthiinae, Anthias, of special interest. And with it having 20 genera containing about 170 species, many of which are small, peaceful and beautiful, those in this subfamily are seeing their popularity increasing with aquarists.
Most of the species seen in the trade are in the Pseudanthias genus. Less seldom seen are, ... For the rest of this article including its photos, which was written for TFH and printed in their March 2010 issue Click Here