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Old 03/06/2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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Regional Variation in Exquisite Wrasse

The Labrid Cirrhilabrus exquisitus had a very broad range in the Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. This is very unique when compared to the limited range of all other members of the Genus Cirrhilabrus. Exquisite Wrasse can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean from Japan down to Indonesia, in most parts of the South Pacific and Coral Sea region, as well as in most locales in the Indian Ocean from the East coast of Africa up to the Red Sea, and east over to Sumatra.

It is theorized by some Taxonomists that Exquisite Wrasse from the Indian Ocean are the true Cirrhilabrus exquisitus, where the ones residing in the Pacific Ocean are in fact a different species altogether. This has yet to be proven as fact, but when DNA analysis becomes more prevalent in the Taxonomy of reef fishes, I am sure we will see this happen along with seeing hundreds of new species, once though to be just a variation of a recognized and identified species.

The coloration of these fishes is highly variable, and is dependant on numerous factors. Their exact age or maturity, along with their gender and phase dictates the intensity of their coloration and exact markings. Juvenile fishes, regardless of their origin always have a white patch on their nose, where the leader of the pack or the Terminal Phase Males will always display the most vibrant coloration when compared to Initial Phase Males, females and juveniles in the group. The exact Origin varies as well and there are slight differences between fishes from different regions, and to make matters even more complex, variations in these fishes even from one locale to another in the same region.

In general, when comparing the coloration of Terminal Phase Males from different regions, the characteristics listed below regarding variations in both coloration and markings holds true for most of these fishes.

West Pacific Ocean- Japan to Sulawesi and Indonesia:

Fishes from this area display far more lime green to yellow coloration on most of the dorsal, caudal, and anal fin. Most have blue and black markings on the soft dorsal fin and trailing edge of the anal fin. A distinct black blotch is outlined in red behind the pectoral fins, and a dark area along the anterior of the lateral line.

South Pacific/Coral Sea Region:

Fiji Variants: Mostly vivid green in coloration with vibrant red on edge of the latter part of the hard dorsal fin, and on the edge of the entire soft dorsal. On the face of the fish is a jagged red stripe from the mouth to the first dorsal spine just above the eye. The pelvic fins are usually mostly red with yellow at the base where they connect to the underside of the fish. The anal fin is mostly red with blue spots along with some yellow where it joins the body. The caudal fin is mostly red as well, with specks of black on the edges. An electric blue stripe runs down the length of the back half of the body below the lateral line.
Solomon Island, Vanuatu, Australia and Coral Sea Variants:
These fish are very similar to Fijian variant, but usually have yellow patches in the dorsal fin along with red. The underside if the fish is lighter and sometimes cream coloration.

Indian Ocean Region:

Maldives, Sri Lanka, Africa Variants:
These fish normally do not have mostly red fins unlike fishes from the South Pacific, but they do have red on their head down to the base of the pectoral fins. There is also a good amount of red patches scattered down the length of the fish. The line under the black spot at the base of the caudal fin is usually pink or red, as opposed to blue which is prevalent on fishes from the Pacific.

When time permits, I will add an image of each wrasse from all three regions we currently offer on our web site, as well as make a modification to the description of these fish listing the regional variations in color and markings for Cirrhilabrus exquisitus.

Cheers!


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Last edited by DFS; 03/06/2009 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 03/06/2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Great information, thanks for sharing this Kevin!


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Old 03/06/2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Thanks Kevin. I just pmd you guys yesterday asking the color variations of the three
Fiji
Maldives
African

I would love to see pics when you get a chance. I assume that the generic pic at Liveaquaria is one from Fiji?(that is the one i like the least) and the one in your guys video is either African or Maldives? Do you have a favorite of the 3?
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...318&pcatid=318


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Old 03/07/2009, 07:21 AM   #4
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Kevin which Exquisite do you prefer?

Also do any come from Vanuatu?

OT:This is just my opinion but most fish i have seen come from Vanuatu have much better color than any other place, again this is just my opinion!


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Old 03/07/2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Most fish from Vanuatu have better colour b/c they are not over collected, yet! They only have been collecting tehre for about 5 years or so that I know of. A lot of the fish that do come out of there are larger and more colourful yes but lately I havent seen as many nice males coming in, most are submales, atleast in the past year or so. I have a nice male from Bali. I like them since they are not as common as the African ones which have more colour.


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Old 03/09/2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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kdblove_99 wrote:
Quote:
I would love to see pics when you get a chance. I assume that the generic pic at Liveaquaria is one from Fiji?(that is the one i like the least) and the one in your guys video is either African or Maldives? Do you have a favorite of the 3?
The image displayed currently on the LiveAquaria.com web site for the Exquisite Wrasse is in fact a representative image of a Fijian fish, and the one shot in the video is from Kenya- an African variant.

kdblove_99 wrote:
Quote:
Kevin which Exquisite do you prefer? Also do any come from Vanuatu?
I actually am fascinated by this diversity among one described species, and like all of them regardless of their region of collection. Cirrhilabrus spp. wrasse is hands down my favorite genus of marine fishes. When looking at a variety of Terminal Phase Males from all of the different regions, each of them is unique, and all are incredibly beautiful in my opinion.

Bret61081 wrote:
Quote:
Most fish from Vanuatu have better color b/c they are not over collected, yet! They only have been collecting tehre for about 5 years or so that I know of. A lot of the fish that do come out of there are larger and more colourful yes but lately I havent seen as many nice males coming in, most are submales, atleast in the past year or so. I have a nice male from Bali. I like them since they are not as common as the African ones which have more colour.

Unfortunately I think there is a major lack of understanding among retailers, consumer, and the general public, which can negatively affect the marine fish industry. Statements such as the one you have posted above are of concern to me, and when people outside of the trade read such comments that are oftentimes made from a lack of understanding, such comments adds fuel to the fire for groups wishing to impose serious restrictions or even outright ban tropical reef fish collection and export.

The Republic of Vanuatu is located in the South Pacific Ocean on the edge of the Coral Sea, with Solomon Islands to the north, Fiji to the East, and New Caledonia to the South. The Archipelago covers an area well over 4000 square miles, with hundreds of miles of coral reefs. Some of the major islands that have dense coral reefs include: the Torres Islands group, the Banks Islands group, Santo, Ambae, Maewo, Pentecost, Malekula, Ambrym, Epi, Shepards Islands group, Efate- which is home to the Capitol City of Port Vila, and is where all of the exports of marine fishes leave, then south to Erromango, Tanna, Aniwa, Futuna, and finally Aneityum.

The reefs of Vanuatu are monitored by an organization called Reef Check, and reef fishes harvested for the aquarium trade from this region are far from being overexploited with the vast expanse of abundant and healthy reef habitat. Furthermore, there are only two small exporters out of this region of the world, employing a handful of collectors. As long as the reefs themselves stay healthy and there is plenty of habitat for reef fishes the harvest of marine fish from this region, when done sustainably, will have zero impact on this abundant species of fish.

The biggest factors that do affect availability of species, or even the size and regional color variants include:
Weather Conditions- This is the time of year in the South Pacific when the seas are rough due to cyclones and other poor weather conditions.
Time of Year- Many fish are more prevalent during certain times of year, or are in greater numbers of mature individuals which are larger and more colorful.
Collection Areas- The exact area where these fish are collected can determine their desirability.
Fishing- We need to remember just because you can dive doesn’t necessarily mean that you can obtain the exact fish in the exact numbers you are looking for.
Gasoline Prices- Increased fuel costs can determine how far the boats can go and to what collection areas.

I hope this helps explain some possible reasons why Vanuatu Exquisite Wrasse vary in size and coloration.

Cheers!


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Old 03/09/2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Thanks Kevin! Curious to see pics of the Maldives Exquisite. The African has been out of stock and I'm not crazy bout the fiji one YOu expect any on DD in the next week or 2. Need to order on the 18th so don't post any too soon


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Old 03/10/2009, 05:32 AM   #8
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kdblove_99,

I am happy to say that we have a few nice males in stock from both Kenya and the Maldives which will be posted in the Divers Den early to mid next week so please keep an eye out.

Happy Labrid Keeping!


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Old 03/10/2009, 10:44 PM   #9
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That is excellent news. I wanted to order either the 18 or 19th for 20th delivery. Will they be posted on different days? I would hate to get one on tuesday then the one posted wednesday i like better


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Old 03/10/2009, 10:46 PM   #10
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That is excellent news. I wanted to order either the 18 or 19th for 20th delivery. Will they be posted on different days? I would hate to get one on tuesday then the one posted wednesday i like better Also do you have pics of the ones you sold either early last week or the week before and where they were from. I will shoot a customer service person my email


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Old 03/11/2009, 11:42 AM   #11
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kdblove_99,

Thank you for your patience while we contacted our Aquaculture Coral & Marine Life Facility. We will certainly try to post these beautiful fish in the Diver’s Den on the same day. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this as it depends on the individual fish. If a fish decides not cooperate the day of the scheduled photo shoot, we will have to try another day. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Chris C.
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Old 03/11/2009, 09:59 PM   #12
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No problem, You guys already go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.


I was just curious there were 2 Exquisites on DD either early last week or the week before and i was curious if you still had those pics of them?


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Old 03/12/2009, 08:40 AM   #13
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kdblove_99,

Thank you for your inquiry. We have sent you a PM regarding your request. Please contact us with any other questions or concerns.

Chris C.
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Old 03/30/2009, 09:34 PM   #14
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kdblove_99,
I have spent the better half of the day rounding up images of the different regional color variants of Exquisite Wrasses from Vanuatu, Fiji, Maldives, and Africa.

These images have been passed along to our creative department, and we should have them added to the LiveAquaria.com site by the end of the week. Additionally, we will be adding a new SKU for the Vanuatu variant to the web site to compliment the fish we currently offer Fiji, Maldives and Africa. Please keep an eye out by checking the Exquisite Wrasse page on LiveAquaria.com.

Cheers!


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Old 03/31/2009, 07:38 PM   #15
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Kevin you rock! After all my talk i ended up getting the Fiji pair! Yeah the ones i like the least, LOL. I actually like them quite a bit there green is like no other green on a fish i have ever seen.

I would love to see the Vanuatu Exquisite. Fish from there i find very pretty as i bought a Vanuatu Flame angel with this order also, He is amazing.

Thanks for taking the time and doing all this!


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Old 04/04/2009, 11:02 AM   #16
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Well the Website is updated and shows the different region Pics of the Exquisite. Like i thought i would, I really like the Vanuatu one. Thnks agin LA and Kevin


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