Dottybacks/Basslets (Pseudochromidae)

Dottyback And Basslet Family Characteristics:

Many of the behavioral patterns of both pygmy basslets and fairy basslets are essentially the same, the main difference being geographical location; the former group originates from the Red Sea and parts of the Indo Pacific, while the latter are confined to the Caribbean. The pygmy basslets are a reasonably large group of fishes spread over a wide area. The vast majority are to be found within the Red Sea and adjacent areas and, as imports are restricted from these parts of the world, numbers are at a premium and specimens usually command high prices.

Pygmy basslets are generally very shy but highly territorial in nature, spending much of their time traveling the crevices within the coral reef structure, occasionally dashing out to capture a morsel of food carried in the current.

Little is known of the reproduction process of this family and reports of aquarium spawning are extremely rare. To date, no larvae have been raised successfully.

Diet And Feeding:

Small crustaceans and drifting plankton make up much of the wild diet of these fish. In the aquarium, much of the normal frozen and live marine fare is readily acceptable after an initial settling in period. Flake foods are not appreciated by most species at any time.

Aquarium Behavior:

Dottybacks and Basslets are highly territorial by nature and will usually be very intolerant of the same, or similar, species. A good arrangement of rockwork is essential to satisfy their secretive habits, although most individuals acclimatize quite well, losing a good deal of their shyness once established.

List Of Popular Aquarium Basslets And Dottybacks:

  • Flash Back Gramma, Purple Stripe Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema)
  • Neon Back Gramma (Pseudochromis dutoiti)
  • Sunrise Dottyback (Pseudochromis flavivertex)
  • Royal Dottyback, False Gramma, Bicolor Dottyback (Pseudochromis paccagnellae)
  • Strawberry Gramma, Purple Dottyback (Pseudochromis porphyreus)
  • Blue Eye Royal Dottyback (Pictichromis dinar)
  • Double Stiped Dottyback (Pseudochromis bitaeniatus)
  • Indigo Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani x sankeyi)
  • Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis aldabraensis)
  • Orangetail Dottyback (Pseudochromis coccinicauda)
  • Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)
  • Red Elongated Dottyback (Pseudochromis elongatus)
  • Splendid Dottyback (Pseudochromis splendens)
  • Springeri Dottyback (Pseudochromis springerii)
  • Chalk Bass (Serranus tortugarum)
  • Harlequin Bass (Serranus tigrinus)
  • Lantern Bass (Serranus baldwini)
  • Macneill's Assessor Basslet (Assessor macneilli)
  • Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma loreto)
  • Swales Swissguard Basslet (Liopropoma swalesi)
  • Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabacarius)


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