Around this time last year a female Tosanoides flavofasciatus was collected in Japan at extreme depths. After its collection the specimen quickly went to Blue Harbor where it sold for an undisclosed price to an avid aquarist. This deepwater anthias is highly sought after in Japan and had many collectors and enthusiast excited. Here’s a […]
Around this time last year a female Tosanoides flavofasciatus was collected in Japan at extreme depths. After its collection the specimen quickly went to Blue Harbor where it sold for an undisclosed price to an avid aquarist. This deepwater anthias is highly sought after in Japan and had many collectors and enthusiast excited. Here’s a photo of the fish at Blue Harbor’s showroom taken by the owner Koji Wada.
Tosanoides flavofasciatus, is a relatively new species that was actually discovered in 1979 by Masao Katayama and Hajime Masuda. It was not until 1980 that this fish was revealed to the public via the Japanese Journal of Itchthyology (See PDF). Here is the original male holotype specimen from ’79 that was captured in the Sagami Bay of the Izu Islands and a live specimen also from the Izus.
Tosanoides spp. are only found off the coast of Japan where T. flavofasciatus inhabits waters 40-60+ meters deep. This means in captivity, a chiller is a must. The only other member of the Tosanoides genus is Tosanoides filamentosus which are typically found at greater depth than T.flavofasciatus.
Discovered in 1953 by Kamohara, Filamentosus was the first member of the Tosanoides genus. For more info see:
Kamohara, T. 1953. Marine fishes newly found in Prov. Tosa, Japan, with descriptions of a new genus and species. Res. Rep. Kôchi Univ. v. 2 (no. 11): 1-10.
It is not until the winter time that T. filamentosus comes to “shallower” depths, of 70m! Filamentosus is found in extremely cool waters, even more so than Flavofasciatus.
Oddly enough even at these depths, occasionally both Tosanoides species are captured by deep sea fisherman, much like the Borbonius Anthias at the seafood market shown here.
Below is a map of the Izu Island chain where Tosanoides Anthias are often found.
I received word from a friend two weeks ago that a single male Tosanoides filamentosus was captured and is so far doing well. Many believe this to be the first Tosanoides filamentosus to enter the trade. I cannot disclose how much this male cost, but think above and beyond what Holanthias borbonius went for when they first became available. Shown below is a vibrant male Filamentosus from Izu-Oshima.
Just yesterday I was informed that Koji Wada ( Blue Harbor ) just received a second Tosanoides filamentosus! A photo from Mr. Wada will be posted here shortly.
I won’t say that we will never receive these fish in the United States, but it is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon. For starters many fish from the waters of Japan rarely make it outside of Japan, e.g. Centropyge interruptus. Secondly, this fish is native to Japan, but these are arguably the first two specimens to be collected for the trade due to their extreme depths. Even the female that went to Blue Harbor in 2007 was the first in many years and well, the Japanese love Anthias. Point being, the rare fish enthusiasts in Japan will snatch these up before we even have a chance.
I will say that there is hope. Recently American Aquarists have been willing to put up a decent amount of money for rare fish and both T. flavofasciatus and T. filamentosus can be found intermixing with Japanese Cherry Anthias (Sacura margaritacea)– which have made their way to the US.
A special thanks to Koji Wada and Tetsuo Otake. Domo arigato.