Meet our festive December Fish of the Month, the Peppermint Basslet (Liopropoma rubre!)
Survey Regions: Peppermint Basslets are found throughout REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) survey region, which includes the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Florida, and Bermuda. Check out the sightings report for this species for the TWA survey region, where they have been reported in just over 5% of all surveys.
Size: These small members of the Sea Bass family can grow to a maximum of 3.5 inches.
Identifying Features: Peppermint Basslets have bold maroon, pinkish and yellow-gold stripes, with a dark spot on the rear of the dorsal and anal fins. They also have two dark blotches on the outer margin of the tail, which are joined together.
Fun Facts: Although Peppermint Basslets are common, they are rarely sighted by divers due to their shy and reclusive nature. They hide deep within the recesses of caves and crevices and tend to retreat when approached. Patient divers can usually catch a glimpse of them, as they can be curious and may emerge from their hiding spot after a few minutes. It's helpful to have a flashlight when searching for cryptic, crevice-dwelling fishes like the Peppermint Basslet.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month!