News / Company News / Bob's Picks (10/28/11)

Bob's Picks

Its always a challenge trying to correctly identify a species we have not had previously and Gobies are a great example. They are some of my favorites, but it can be particularly frustrating when trying to sort out which one is which. Just this week we received two gobies we havent had before, a Tomiyamichthys and a Cryptocentrus. They are the type of fish that kind of looks like that one but then there will be one really important feature missing, and you know its not the same fish. Or you think you have it nailed down, only to realize that the stated range of distribution is far from where the specimen came from. Its maddening.

Another caveat is the all important common name. One of the reasons that we like to state scientific names is that most fish have several common names. When this comes up, I try to select the most widely used common name from the most accepted reference. Scientists are great at naming stuff exactly what it looks like but somehow Grey Blotched Goby just doesnt sound all that appealing no matter how you say it. On the other hand, some common animals in the trade havent been identified down to the species level. Youve probably seen this before in the form of Randomgenus sp. It means it has been classified to the genus level, but no further.

I sometimes get so wrapped up in the identification process I forget that we probably have one of the greatest resources available other people. Many times it takes a few sets of eyes to relieve the tunnel vision I get bogged down in. We have a very diverse and experienced husbandry staff and we also have an amazing and unexpected reference, YOU! We have a huge network of experienced individuals which includes collectors, scientists, professional aquarists, and store owners around the globe. A lot of work goes into identifying new species, but its all just another part of our mission to make sure you what you expect.

This week from Australia we have in some very nice Scribbled Angels (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi). We have full Males available as well and they look great.

We received another shipment of the Midget Reef Chromis (Chromis acares) and these are a awesome looking Damselfish with a great temperament. These only occur in a very limited collection range and would be perfect in most reef aquariums.

If you havent tried the African Bluestripe Pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus) youre missing out on a great little Syngnathid. These have beautiful coloration and would be a nice addition to a refugium.

Like a fine wine Corals just get better with time and the Purple Giant Star Coral (Moseleya latistellata) is no exception. We have a limited number of pieces that are just starting to come into their coloration but they are worth the wait.

Our South Pacific sources are sending over excellent specimens of Yellow Toadstool Leather Coral (Sarcophyton elegans). These are a great buy right now!