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|The male squareblock anthias is a sight to behold! On the deep reefs on which it is normally found, the pink blotch looks flourescent blue! Photo by Roger Steene|
The members of the subfamily Anthiinae would be considered by many to be the most beautiful fishes found on coral reefs. These fishes are commonly referred to as fairy basslets, or simply as anthias (even though the name of the most abundant genus means "false anthias"). They occur in all the tropical oceans of the world.
The first species recognized in this group was described from the Mediterranean and northeast Atlantic in 1758 and, appropriately enough, is known to scientific types as Anthias anthias. In the past, many species from around the world were assigned to this genus. But after further study it has been concluded that the Anthias spp. are restricted to the Atlantic and Mediterranean. All the other forms that were once included in this group belong to different genera - seven of these are known to occur in coral reef biomes. They are: Holanthias, Luzonichthys, Nemanthias, Plectranthias, Pseudanthias, Rabaulichthys and Serranocirrhitus.
In this Coral Realm Feature Article/Photo Gallery you will find numerous photos of some of the most beautiful fishes in the world! There are over 30 photos showing a number of different species, as well as a variety of different color forms of certain species. The photographs included are all by professional fish photographers, including Roger Steene and Scott W. Michael.