The 10 new fish that need naming are:
Pterois ToBeDetermined – Lionfish are one of the most spectacular and dangerous of reef fishes, having poisonous spines that cause excruciating pain for up to three days after a wound is inflicted. Docile during the day, they emerge just before sunset and perform elaborate courtship displays with their showy fins extended. This species can “herd” small fish by throwing its pectoral fins out like a net, encircling its prey, and then striking out with lightning speed to ingest its quarry whole. First collected from Cendrawasih Bay, this new species has now been photographed from Northern Sulawesi to eastern Papua New Guinea..
Pterocaesio ToBeDetermined – Colorful fusiliers typically form large conspicuous shoals of thousands of individuals that swirl around divers visiting outer reef slopes. This species is one of the smaller but more vividly colored of the known fusiliers, with gold blaze across its body making it visible even in the depths.
Pseudochromis ToBeDetermined – Distantly related to groupers, the dottybacks are secretive fish highly sought by advanced scuba divers. This distinctive species — with yellow and black “racing stripes,” blue eyes and cherry belly — was discovered amid the deep reefs in Triton Bay, where it typically lives in mated pairs and displays a strong curiosity for scuba divers. Unlike many fish, dottybacks are committed parents and carefully care for their eggs until they hatch.
Pseudanthias ToBeDetermined - Fairy basslets form massive colorful shoals that hover a few meters above the reef, feeding on plankton. All fairy basslets mature first as females, later changing sex to become males as they grow larger. Males typically oversee a harem of up to 20 females. This species has been collected only from deep reefs in Cendrawasih Bay.
Pictichromis ToBeDetermined - Known only from Cendrawasih Bay in the eastern Bird’s Head, this gorgeous magenta and yellow fish inquisitively investigates any divers that come near it. It is normally found below 15m depth and hides under reef overhangs. Its vibrant colours make it perhaps the most beautiful of the dottybacks.
Melanotaenia ToBeDetermined – The lone freshwater fish at auction, this rainbowfish has been found in only two small mountain streams on the island of Batanta in the Bird’s Head. With approximately 60 known species in this family of fish, each having a very limited distribution, rainbowfish have inspired a cult following. The striking males of this species can “flash” irridiscent blue colors to attract mates in the deep pools that form below stunning waterfalls in the streams on Batanta.
Hemiscyllium ToBeDetermined – The completely singular evolutionary path this shark has taken gives it pectoral fins uniquely developed for walking. This form of motion, unknown in other sharks, made this distinctive species an international media darling when it was discovered last year. Although it can swim if frightened, this shark commonly crawls across shallow coral reefs in search of its prey. Also notable are the male’s unusually large clasper organs. This shark is known only from Cendrawasih Bay.
Corythoichthys ToBeDetermined – Pipefish, like their seahorse relatives, stand out in the fish world because of their “male pregnancy” — the female deposits her fertilized eggs in a specialized pouch on the male’s belly and he tends the eggs until they hatch. The subtle but ornate color pattern on this new species differentiates it from other pipefish, while also keeping it camouflaged on the reef’s shallow coral heads and in gorgonian sea fans.
Chrysiptera ToBeDetermined – Considered the gems of the coral reef, brightly-colored Chrysiptera damselfish are found exclusively in areas of healthy coral. Although small, these fish can live up to 15 years and produce copious numbers of offspring — with the males actually taking the primary role in tending the eggs. The beautiful species on auction is known only from Sebakor Bay in the Bird’s Head and was discovered in April 2006.
Paracheilinus ToBeDetermined – Considered the most spectacularly colored of all coral reef fishes, flasher wrasse derive their common name from the unique courtship behavior of the males – which rise up in the water column and suddenly “flash” electric neon colors while simultaneously erecting their fins to draw the attention of potential mates. Photographing a male in full courtship display is considered a “holy grail” for accomplished underwater photographers. This species is arguably the most stunning of all the flashers (there are 16 known species), and was discovered in April 2006. It is known only from the southern Bird’s Head Seascape, from Raja Ampat to Triton Bay.