Friday 27 June 2014

Klunzinger's Wrasse

Image: Andreas Metz
Thalassoma rueppellii
Wow! Look at that amazing fish! We can all see the fish, right? Because it does also look like an amazing psychedelic experience.

This is the ludicrously brightly coloured Klunzinger's Wrasse, found only in the Red Sea.

Image: Razvan Marescu
They reach 20 cm (8 in) in length and every inch is covered in purple and neon bright stripes. They look like they had an accident with a barrel of radioactive ooze and now their skeleton glows in the dark.

This species lives in groups made up mostly of females, and they dash around the coral reefs seeking out algae, worms and crustaceans to feed on.

Image: Derek Keats
They're said to be inquisitive of divers and are also available for the aquarium, where they're noted for being aggressive and territorial.

Their name comes from Carl Benjamin Klunzinger, a German physician who collected them and many other marine specimens while he was working at a Red Sea port for a few years.

Image: Valerie Hukalo
He died in 1914, long before psychedelia got under way, and he doesn't sound the type to get on with that sort of thing, anyway.

We can only hope he was a fiend for excessively loud neckwear.