RSS Macropharyngodon moyeri is a unique leopard wrasse from the waters of Japan

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    [​IMG]Beautiful male M. moyeri. Picture by Shigeru harazaki.

    Macropharyngodon moyeri is a lesser known and rare species of leopard wrasse that never enters the mainstream aquarium trade as far as we know. The largely Japan endemic wrasse can apparently also be found in Taiwan, but is mostly found in the Japanese waters of Izu and Ryukyu. Unlike the standard fare of leopard wrasses, the moyer’s leopard wrasse differs by having a rather clean body devoid of any obvious spots.

    [​IMG]A terminal male M. moyeri displaying. The coloration is enhanced dramatically. Photo by Shigeru harazaki.

    You may see a similarity between the moyer’s leopard wrasse with the kuiter’s and vivien’s leopard wrasses, and you’re right. M. moyeri is closely related to M. kuiteri and M. vivienae. The similarity in all three species is that all have clean, pearlescent bodies with a distinctive ear spot behind the operculum. Common it is however not, and due to the restriction of range in the wild, it is very unlikely that any specimens will be turning up with any form of regularity. If you think this fish is pretty though, and would like a doppelgänger of it, the kuiter’s leopard wrasse is a good substitute and is much more easily obtainable from Vanuatu. The vivien’s leopard wrasse from Africa is another rare one that you might not get your fins on as easily. Check out the two species below for comparison.

    [​IMG]Macropharyngodon kuiteri on the left by Bradley J syphus, and a wild specimen of M. vivienae on the right by Dennis Polack photographed in Mozambique, Africa.

    Here’s just one more picture of a stunning male showing the pretty facial markings.


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