News / Species Spotlight / Popular Piscenes - Borbonius Anthias (06/05/13)

Popular Piscenes - Borbonius Anthias

In the Wild

Odontanthias borbonius were once called Holanthias borbonius, a name no longer accepted. They have a very wide range, being found in most of the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. That being said they are seen infrequently because they are collected from extremely deep water; while found occasionally as shallow as 240 feet they are more often found between six and nine hundred feet deep. Solitary male specimens have been reported around the mouths of Coelacanth caves.

Interestingly, this species was described in 1828 by Valenciennes. When you stop to consider that Frederic Dumas did the initial testing of the AquaLung after its invention in 1943 (by Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan) and that Dumas set the first depth record for diving with scuba in 1947 at roughly 300 ft. You start to wonder about the difficulty with which this species must have been first collected.

Because of the great depth at which they live, almost nothing is published about their lifecycle. They have a max recorded size of roughly 6 inches.

In the Aquarium

Odontanthias borbonius are commonly called Blotched, Checked and Spotted Anthias; frequently they also get the Swallowtail modifier. They are a very hardy, somewhat aggressive fish. Because of this we do not recommend mixing them with other anthias. They can however, cohabitate with other Spotted Anthias, as long as they are all added together at a small size.

They generally aggressively take food from the moment they arrive here at QM. We feed them a mix of meaty foods from Gamma, but they soon take processed foods like pellets as well. Colors on many of these anthias will be underwhelming until they are comfortable in their new surroundings, a process that can take a few weeks in the home aquarium.

This is a long lived species that grows slowly, and so makes an excellent addition to most aquariums, including many reef aquariums. Its brilliant coloration, and its rarity are sure to make it a showpiece in any display.

Internal QM Sources: Eli Fleishauer, Adam Mangino