Churashima Foundation confirms a new type of wrasse fish, never before collected for study in Japan

Churashima Foundation confirms a new type of wrasse fish, never before collected for study in Japan

(Top) The first recorded male wrasse in Japan with its proposed name “Yumodoro bera” and the first recorded female wrasse in the world (Bottom) (Photographs offered by the Okinawa Churashima Foundation)


July 31, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

An Okinawa Churashima Foundation research group, including Kei Miyamoto, confirmed that a species of fish found near Sesoko Island in Motobu Town is a new type of wrasse. Other reports of this type of wrasse have been made in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This is the furthest north it has been located. It is the first time a female of this type of wrasse has been confirmed anywhere in the world. The Okinawa Churashima Foundation made the announcement on July 30.

Miyamoto remarked, “This record confirms the richness of biodiversity around Okinawa. I look forward to future findings of many more types of creatures. The report of the discovery will be published in scholarly journal Zootaxa.

Referring to a song about the sunset in Motobu Town, “Yumodoro no hana,” “Yumodoro bera” was proposed as a Japanese name. Yasuichi Yoshikawa, who had also written Bashofu, described the sunset in Motobu “Yumodoro” as being just like “Akemodoro”, meaning sunrise. The name was inspired by the sight of the reddish body of wrasse, which conjured an image of the sun setting into the ocean.

In August 2014, an angler at Motobu Town brought “a never-seen-before-fish he caught” into the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. The foundation kept it as a research sample and examined it after its death.

DNA and gonadal analysis confirmed its sex as female.

The research outcome was based on information provided by residents. The foundation said, “This is a good case that could become a model for citizen participation in biodiversity research.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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