Rainbow fish that is born female and becomes male intrigues scientists

A fish, which is born female and becomes male over the years, has been classified as a new species in the Maldives region. It was already known to science, but until then it was considered a variation of another species. Only now researchers hope for reefs of the Academy of Sciences of California (United States) differentiated and named the pink fairy wrasse (Cirrilabrus finifenmaa).

With a colorful body and measuring the length of a human finger, the species lives in groups on reefs found at a depth that varies between 40 and 70 meters in the Indian Ocean, reported the British newspaper The Guardian.

The fish changes appearance and sex as it ages. They begin life as females and mature into males, when they gain more color and become rainbow-like.

The colors are more evident during the mating season, as a way of attracting females.

The discovery should help understand and protect the world’s coral reefs, with a focus on mesophytic formations, according to Yi-kai teapostdoctoral fellow at Australian Museum research Institute, in Sydney.

“This is one of the least explored regions in the coral reefs. This area is situated at a strange depth. It is not deep enough to research with submarines, but at the same time it is too complex to use traditional diving techniques”, he explained. the scientist to the newspaper, by e-mail.

To photograph and gather information, scientists use specialized diving equipment.

Despite being known since the 1990s, the “trans” fish was only named in 2022 by scientists, classifying it as a unique species, and not just a variation of others.

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