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For the subfamily of beetle, see Anthiinae (beetle).
"Anthias" redirects here. For the genus within the subfamily, see Anthias (genus). For the genus of ground beetle, see Anthia.
Juwelen-Fahnenbarsch Pseudanthias squamipinnis 0511173 Weibc.jpg
Sea goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Serranidae
Subfamily: Anthiinae

See text.

Anthias are members of the family Serranidae (basses, basslets, groupers) and make up the subfamily Anthiinae. Anthias make up a sizeable portion of the population of pink, orange, and yellow reef fishes seen swarming in most coral reef photography and film.[citation needed]

Anthias are mostly small, thus are quite popular within the ornamental fish trade. They form complex social structures based on the number of males and females and also their position on the reef itself, and are mainly zooplankton feeders. They occur in all tropical oceans and seas of the world. The first species recognized in this group was described in the Mediterranean and northeast Atlantic and was given name Anthias anthias by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

Anthias can shoal by the thousands. Anthias do school in these large groups, though they tend toward more intimate subdivisions within the school, appropriately called "harems". These consist of one dominant, colorful male, and two to 12 females — which have their own hierarchy among them — and up to two 'subdominant' males, often less brightly colored and not territorial. Within the swarm of females, territorial males perform acrobatic U-swim displays and vigorously defend an area of the reef and its associated harem.

Anthias are protogynous hermaphrodites. All anthias are born female; if a dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will often change into a male to take its place. This may lead to squabbling between the next-largest male, which sees an opportunity to advance, and the largest female, whose hormones are surging with testosterone.[tone]

Seven genera of anthias are known to occur in coral reef ecosystems: Holanthias, Luzonichthys, Nemanthias, Plectranthias, Pseudanthias, Rabaulichthys, and Serranocirrhitus. Members of all these genera make it into the aquarium trade, although Pseudanthias is by far the most encountered in the hobby.



  1. ^ Randall, J. E.; McCosker, J. E. (1992). "Revision of the fish Genus Luzonichthys (Perciformes: Serranidae: Anthiinae), with Descriptions of Two New Species". Indo-Pacific fishes (Honolulu: Bishop Museum) 21: 1–21 pp., 8 col.