Here to brighten up your week, May's Fish of the Month is the Sunshinefish (Chromis insolata)!
Survey Regions: Found throughout REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) region, including Florida, The Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Gulf of Mexico. Also found in the South Atlantic States (SAS) region, which includes waters of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Size: Usually 2-3 inches, but can grow to a maximum of 4 inches.
Identifying Features: Juvenile Sunshinefish (pictured) have a bright yellow upper body with brilliant purple or lavender below. They often have an iridescent blue line that runs from the snout across the upper part of the eye. Adults are a bit more drab, with a green, olive, or brown body, a pale belly, and a yellow or transparent area at the rear of their dorsal fin and tail margin.
Fun Fact: Sunshinefish like to cluster in mixed groups of juveniles and adults, staying close to the bottom around a coral head. They are commonly seen at depths below 60 feet, but can also be found on shallow reefs.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the June issue of e-News to see our next Fish of the Month!