Sea Creature of the Week!

Nov 28 2011

Fairy Basslet

Scientific Name : Gramma loreto

Family: Grammatidae

Home: This tiny aquatic beauty can be found throughout the Caribbean. It prefers to hang out at the edge of reefs where sheltering coral grows abundantly. The coral provides caves, ledges and crevices in which our fish friend can hid from its predators.

Characteristics: This marine fairy has a small yet elongated body with delicate looking fins. It grows to be about 3 inches in length. Its coloring is by far the most distinguishing characteristic of this aquatic creature. It has a bluish purple head while the rest of it is bright yellow. Generally this little fishy looks like it is wearing warpaint with two yellow lines on its cheeks and a black line cutting through its eyes. The male grows to be slightly larger than its female counter part.

Food: The fairy basslet feeds primarily on small crustaceans such as copepods, mysid shrimp and the planktonic larvae of larger crustaceans. As a treat it will sometimes also eat the parasitic organisms living on larger fish.

Fun Facts:

• Reef destruction and the aquarium trade both pose a huge threat to fairy basslet population! #NotSoFunFact

• Courtship and mating occur amongst these marine creatures in
the wee hours of the morning!

• It is not uncommon to spot our fish friend hanging upside from the ledge of the reef!

Leave a Reply