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New Fish Species Found in the Maldives: A Rainbow of Color in the Twilight Zone

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All images © Yi-Kai Tea, courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, shared with permission

A team of researchers studying the Maldives‘ twilight zone has discovered a fish species with a rainbow of hues, which is said to be quite rare. The rose-veiled fairy wrasse, or Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa, is a fish that lives in the deep sea. It has a typical range of 131 to 229 feet below sea level. However, this one was found much closer to the surface. With its bright pink head and bodily scales in shades of yellow and blue, it’s a striking discovery!

The species, which was first recorded in 1990, has initially been classified as the adult form of the similar Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis. It was not until scientists from the California Academy of Sciences’ Hope for Reefs project measured the height of each fin’s spines and the number of scales on them that they discovered the “multicolor marvel” deserved its taxonomic classification.

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All images © Yi-Kai Tea, courtesy of California Academy of Sciences, shared with permission