Jewel Fairy Basslet

The Jewel Fairy Basslet (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Grammatidae family.  It is also known as the Goldie, the Lyretail Fairy Basslet, the Blue-Eyed Anthias, the Orange Butterfly Perch, or the Red Coral Perch.

The Jewel Fairy Basslet is generally gold or red with an orange-blue stripe on its cheek. The male is purplish. It has elongated fins. Its eyes are bright blue.

Jewel Fairy Basslet (female)

It grows to 8-15 centimetres (3-6 inches) in length. The female is smaller than the male.

It is mainly found in Africa, from the coastal waters of Mozambique to South Africa, but it is also found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, and the oceans near Japan and Australia.

It prefers rocky ocean beds in coral reefs with lots of nooks in which to hide. It can hang upside down under cave ledges.

The Jewel Fair Basslet eats plankton and small shrimp.

It is found in social groups of one large male and smaller males with several females. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite. The dominant female in the group will become a male if the male dies. 

The female lays eggs in a nest in a small hole in the rock surface. The male parent looks after the nest and chases away any fish that gets too close. The eggs hatch after 10-11 days and larvae emerge. 

Jewel Fairy Basslet (female)

Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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