‘Zippy’ anthias of Bali, of a fish family scientifically named Anthiadinae, are sometimes seen as ‘background fish’, but it would be super dull without them!
These fish school in the thousands, and are truly breathtaking in their coordinated moves! Their 15 minutes of fame in natural wildlife documentaries might be ‘stock footage’ to put it bluntly, but they’re mesmerising, and provide the coral reef ecosystem extra vibrant life and colour! These fish don’t normally live their life in large shoals, but more in ‘harems’ in different parts of the reef up to 60 metres depth or more. In a harem, there is a dominant male (and the most colourful, to attract the females to mate – much like peacocks!), and 1 (or maybe 2) sub-dominant males. They will all do their best with a ‘dance’ to exert their dominance for the harems’ females benefit. Watch the nearby reef anthias for about 5 minutes during your next dive adventure travel in Tulamben, and you will probably spot the dominant male with its enthusiastically spritely U-pattern swimming!