众所周知,夏威夷是许多奇特珊瑚礁鱼的家园,但其中并不包含小丑炮弹(clown triggerfish)。因此,当毛伊岛(Maui)的潜水员发现这条外表古怪的小丑炮弹时,十分惊喜。这条小丑炮弹与一般的小丑炮弹并不一样。

 

这条鱼出现的地方远离它们的自然栖息地较远,潜水员们提出的第一个有可能的解释是:这条鱼是鱼友放生的。这一解释对于能够在自然栖息范围之外能发现珊瑚礁鱼和鱼友的所作所为,让我惊讶。

 

 

 

这条“迷宫纹”小丑炮弹,显示出不寻常的颜色花纹,而且脸部的整体形状与“纯正的”小丑炮弹不同。照片来自Dan North

 

首先,这显然是一条杂交的小丑炮弹。最大可能是与关系密切的泰坦炮弹杂交而成。而泰坦炮弹也不会出现在该地区。其次,像这样的标本在海洋水族业中非常受欢迎,没有鱼友会放弃这种罕见的标本。

 

我们需要通过遗传分析才能确定这条鱼的真实性质。然而,这不是带有这种花纹的第一条小丑炮弹,因此我们认为它是杂交品种。在水族贸易中,已经出现过几个这样的标本。有趣的是,人们在法国和日本的公共水族馆中见过其中一些标本,它们与这条小丑炮弹的花纹一样。

 

 

非常感谢毛伊岛的潜水员发现并拍下了这条鱼。这是一种超级美丽的鱼。它可能会在该地区的珊瑚礁上继续生长,并成为一条与别处的同类不同的奇妙鱼儿。

 

原文:

Hawaii is known to be home to many a crazy awesome reef fish, but clown triggerfish are not one of them. So you can imagine the surprise of divers in Maui when they came across this wild looking triggerfish which didn’t quite fit the mold for what Balistoides conspicillum is supposed to look like. 

 

To my astonishment, one of the first possible explanations that was given for the occurrence of this fish far from where it naturally occurs was to blame aquarists for releasing this fish from a home aquarium. This is a very lazy and ignorant explanation, both about reef fish found outside their natural ranges, and about aquarists. 

 

One of the off maze clown triggerfish which shows both a highly unusual color pattern and a face which is overall a different shape from a ‘pure’ clown triggerfish. Photo Dan North

 

First of all, this is clearly a hybrid clown triggerfish, most likely with the closely related titan triggerfish, which also doesn’t occur in the region. Secondly, a specimen such as this one would be prized in the marine aquarium hobby and no aquarist would release such a rare specimen. 

 

It would take genetic analysis to determine the true nature of this fish. However since this is not the first example of a clown triggerfish with this very pattern we can say with some degree of confidence that this is indeed a hybrid. Several specimens have been documented in the trade and interestingly, a couple of these have been spotted at public aquariums both in France and Japan, sporting this exact same scribbled pattern. 

 

So kudos to the divers in Maui who spotted and photographed this fish, but next time try a little harder than just scapegoating the aquarium hobby for seeing something you don’t understand. Either way, this is a super awesome fish which will likely grow up on the reefs in that area for many years and become a fantastic fish unlike any that can be seen anywhere, Hawaii or otherwise.

 

(header image photographed by Julie Gardner)