Blue Harbor has just released a little footage of a stunning Japanese Masudai hogfish (Bodianus masudai), allowing us to catch a glimpse of this rare fish for the first time in a long time. Now, you might be asking yourself what’s so rare about this peppermint hogfish? And that’s a pretty reasonable question since Indonesian peppermint hogfish aren’t rare at all…but the Japanase Masudai are to a good extent. Most peppermint hogs offered up in the hobby are either B. sepiacaudus or B. izuensis, and usually anything imported as a B. masudai is nothing more than a misidentified fish. However, this fish is the real deal, as indicated by its pair of yellow stripes running head to tail, a deep red body, and a lightly colored underside. The more commonly found hogs have a trio (or more) of thin white stripes and a lighter red body coloration. In terms of its rarity, B. masudai is composed of individuals endemic to both Japan and Indonesian waters, but those inhabiting the area around Japan are significantly less common. They aren’t extremely rare like others in the genus, most notably the sunset wrasse (B. sanguines), but they rarely make it out of Japan to US reef keepers.