New Discovery

Lipogramma idabeli, A new species from the deep reefs in the Western Caribbean

A new species of Lipogramma idabeli is collected at a depth of 122–165 m off the coast of Roatan, Honduras, in the western Caribbean. The new species is distinguished from all other species in the genus by its bright blue coloration on the head, nape, and dorsal portion of the trunk beneath the spinous dorsal fin, a prominent round black blotch below the origin of the spinous dorsal fin, and a high number of gill rakers.

Lipogramma idabeli, fresh specimens on dark (A–C) and light (D, E) backgrounds.

Specimens were collected using the Idabel submarine. The Idabel can accommodate a pilot and two scientists and is capable of diving to ~700 m. This sub is recently outfitted with a fish-catching system capable of delivering an anesthetic solution and capturing specimens with a suction system powered by one of the submersible’s vertical thrusters. Manned subs have proven to be highly effective for collecting fishes from deep as compared to divers using closed-circuit rebreathers, which are limited to depths less than ~ 150 m and recreational scuba diving is limited to depth of 50 m.

Idabel submersible outfitted with fish-catching system. A acrylic holding tank B housing for HD video camera C quinaldine sulphate delivery hose D suction for the system is powered by a PVC hose connecting to one of the submersible’s vertical thrusters E two-way valve to allow for differential suction/blowing of water and or anesthetic F carbon-fiber compensator holding up to 2.5 gallons of anesthetic solution, powered by pressurized air from a SCUBA cylinder (not shown, lower tank in image is oxygen for life support systems) G housing for solenoid valve, enabling scientists to control the flow of anesthetic from a switch inside the submersible.

The species was frequently observed in the mid-to-upper rariphotic zone between 122–165 m depth, in or around small rock crevices, rock piles, or caves situated on steep limestone walls covered with coarse sediment and fine rubble composed of dead sections of the green macroalga Halimeda.

The complete set of papers on Lipogramma idabeli are here.


Like always it's my day one in the hobby. Always been a hobbyist but never knew would dive so deep in the hobby. I too started with a freshwater aquarium. When I first started saltwater aquarium it just grew on me and I knew that had to do more in this hobby. I am a Post-Grad in Business Administration have worked with Coldstar Logistics, Amazon and Jindal's before jumping completely in the ocean. Other than aquarium hobby I have my interests in travel, digital games and consumer web technology.

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