Recently on a journey to a distant Brazilian archipelago of St. Paul’s Rocks, a contemporary species of reef fish captivated its descending explorers from the California Academy of Sciences. Initially dappled at a depth of a vertical drop of 400 feet underneath the ocean’s surface, this enigmatic fish occupies rocky fissures of twilight zone reefs and originates nowhere else in the world. When found the analysis team was so enchanted by their finned discovery that they missed an enormous six gill shark floating above them.
Dr. Luiz Rocha, the Academy’s Curator of Fishes and co-leader of the Hope for Reefs initiative said that this was one of the most alluring fishes he has ever observed. It was so alluring that they was okay even if they missed out on everything else.
The six gill shark extended almost ten feet long and meandered overhead as Rocha and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Hudson Pinheiro frailly gathered the fish for additional scrutiny back at the academy. Aptly named, Tosanoides aphrodite delighted its founders much like Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, dazzled the ancient Greek gods.
Pinheiro said that fishes from the twilight zone inclined to be pink or reddish in color. Red light does not pierce to those pitch black vertical drops making the fishes indiscernible unless irradiated by a light like the one which is carried by them in the deep waters. Males are equipped with interspersing pink and yellow stripes while females displayed a solid, blood-orange color.