Pseudanthias tuka – Yellowstriped fairy basslet
Pseudanthias tuka belongs to the Sea Bass family (Serranidae), in this family you can find groupers and fairy basslets. This large family comprises around 75 genera and around 550 species. The yellow stripe over the back of the females have given them their common name Yellowstriped fairy basslet.
The genus name Pseudanthias can be broken into two Ancient Greek words. Pseudes means false and Anthias is an ancient Greek collective name for all fish in the subgenus Anthiinae which goes back to the classical Greek Anthias for sea fish.
Synonyms: Mirolabrichthys tuka, Anthias tuka, Mirolabrichthys tuka tuka.
Pseudanthias tuka can reach a total length of around 12 centimeters. Both males and females are deep pink to purple in color. The difference between the sexes can be clearly seen in the yellow stripe that runs across the back of the females and extends to the edges of the caudal fin. The throat of the man turns yellow, while the females throat remains the body color. A purple spot is visible on the back of the males dorsal fin. The nose of this species ends in a tip and protrudes a little beyond the lower lip.
Similar species are the Pseudanthias evansi and the Pseudanthias pascalus. The P. evansi females have a completely yellow colored caudal fin. The P. pascalus males have spots in the dorsal fin and the females lack the yellow stripe.
Like many fish in the Serranidae family, the Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet is hermaphrodite. All are born as females. If needed for the group, the largest and strongest female can slowly turn into males.
The habitat of the Purple Flag Perch is fairly extensive. They occur along the east coast of Africa, southern India and from the South China Sea to the upper half of Australia and a little further east into the Pacific Ocean. They inhabit the upper edge of deeper-water and steep reef slopes at depths of 10 to 40 meters. Pseudanthias tuka is common in large schools.
In the wild, the Pseudanthias tuka mainly feeds on plankton in the water column. In the aquarium it is difficult to get them to eat. You can start feeding live small crustaceans such as artemia and plankton. When purchasing, it is important to pay attention to whether they already eat in the shop or whether you want them to get them eating in your own aquarium. To get them to eat successfully, you can also combine them with other Anthiases that already eat. That way they are easier to get used to the food you give them.
Pseudanthias tuka – Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet in an Aquarium
This species is very difficult to keep. The Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet is a real schooling fish that should be kept with at least 7 others. An aquarium from about 150 centimeters is recommended. Provide a setup with corals where the fish can hide. They are reefsafe. The aquarium must have a lot of current to keep the fish active and healthy.
It sometimes goes wrong when introducing this species. They need absolutely perfect water values. Fluctuations in the water values immediately cause problems with the health of the fish.
Breeding Pseudanthias tuka
As far as I know, breeding in captivity has not been succesful yet.
John de Lange