Unlike last weekend’s trip to the LFS, this recent trip proved to be a bit more successful. I ventured into All About Fish, a local store that is absolutely immaculate and has some of the healthiest livestock in the area. I made the usual rounds, looking into every single tank in the shop. I was on the hunt for a cheap “guinea pig” frag to throw into my frag tank when I came across one of the many display aquariums. It was a Red Sea Max 250 that housed a very beautiful pair of Onyx Percula clowns, as well as a stunning green with orange tip host anemone, gorgeous chalices and softies, and a few other things. I noticed a small blue Hippo Tang swimming around (see picture taken via cell phone above). I originally thought nothing of it, but glancing at it a second time I noticed just how unusual it looked. This tang had a very predominant black bar running down the front of its face, all the way to its mouth.
Normally, the Hippo Tang has a black bar that stops around the eye. Below the eye is a usually a cluster of “freckles”. Not even juveniles have coloration like this, from what I’ve seen. I talked to the store owner and he said he gets them on occasion, but that they are fairly rare. I asked if this fish was caught in any special or unusual area of the Pacific, but the owner wouldn’t spill the beans. This particular fish wasn’t for sale, so I didn’t even bother to ask the price.