Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > Marine Fish Forums > Reef Fishes

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:17 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
Big news from Oahu… Genicanthus personatus caught!

Edit: This is a loooooooooong story!

Well guys, my trip out to Hawaii went from great to “trip of a lifetime status” on Sunday. I went out diving with some friends on a collection trip where they would be diving their rebreathers for “Holos” as they’re called out here. These are commonly known as bandit angels (Apolemichthys arcuatus) to us mainlanders, but many Hawaiians have called them Holos since the days of their classification under the Holacanthus genus. After going collecting Saturday in the shallows (120 and above) with another buddy, I had Sunday free so I met up with Rufus (freedive43 on RC here), Alika (alikatoes on RC here), Jesse (another rebreather diver), and Rufus’ girlfriend Aleka. It was a beautiful clear Hawaiian day, and I operated the boat while the divers were down. On the way out, we saw a huge bait ball in the water, with large fish hitting it, which turned out to be two Galapagos sharks. One of these was just sitting at the surface when we pulled up, gorging itself. We quickly put on our snorkel gear and dropped in, but Alika’s hesitation frightened me a bit… if a local was scared where did that leave me? One of the guys put on a shark shield, a device wrapped around the ankle that sends out an electrical current to scare sharks away… apparently its functionality is still debated, but even if it’s the placebo effect it helps! They brought spear guns to go for ahi (tuna), and I grabbed a gaff as a poker. There was something about feeding sharks, guys with spear guns, and the tendency for the baitball to seek refuge under anything (including myself) that made me think twice… but I stuck by the boat snorkeling with the gaff for protection… This alone would have made for a great day… but it got way… way… way better…

We finally found a spot for the divers to drop down, after hitting one spot where the current was raging… luckily it was and we went to that second spot. Here’re the guys below suiting up… rebreather diving makes deep diving safer, but requires a complicated certification with a lot of technical training that is a hefty investment of both time and money…
Jesse (left) and Alika (right)…


Alika… all business… all these photos and I could never get a smile...


And Rufus, the owner of the boat and most experienced collector… little did he know this would be the best dive in his 15 years of collecting… his smile would soon get bigger…


The guys dropped down and I hovered around their buoy with the boat… When they came up for decompression they would send up the safety sausage at about 60 feet or so, and I would drop the deco line and drop in and snorkel to count all three and make sure all was well.

So after a while Aleka and I saw bubbles as the guys started purging their rebreathers… rebreathers don’t make any bubbles until it’s time to decompress, so this meant the safety sausage would come up soon indicating it was time to drop the deco line… As soon as it did pop up I dropped in the water with my snorkel gear… all looked well and the guys were calm… I free dove to about 30 feet or so to see how many Holos they had got, but I noticed one of the buckets had a fish with a swallowtail… No way I thought… for those of you who don’t know me I am an angelfish nut, and speak for aquarium clubs on angels (and am lined up at IMAC in Chicago next year to do my talk on rare angels). I mention this because the irony could not be any greater… I came to the surface with excitement in my veins, already believing what I had suspected. With a big breath I free dove down to where they were on the deco line, and there it was in front of me… I was mesmerized… so much so that I forgot for a minute that I had 60 feet or so of water to travel before my next breath… I did not bring my SCUBA gear because they were diving too deep for me to see anything… I didn’t have my underwater camera rig either, but I took this shot from the surface when the catch bucket was at the boat… (hint… that’s not a bandit angel in there!) I’ll post more clear shots below, but you could make the fish out… not only was this the first Genicanthus personatus collected in the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) in probably at least 10 years, but it was one of the very few males ever collected here… and a full grown 7 to 8 inch stud at that! High fives were given to all three men as I free dove to them in excitement… and at the surface as I gasped for breath I tried to explain the significance of this catch to Rufus’ girlfriend on the boat
__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.

Last edited by copps; 10/23/2007 at 12:55 AM.
  #2  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:18 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
Those of you who know angels probably know the significance of this catch. For some background to people who don’t know, Genicanthus personatus is a Hawaiian endemic. It’s the only Genicanthus angelfish (well known as the “reef safe genus” because of their planktivorous nature) found in Hawaii, and one of five species of angels (not counting the waifs that have been recorded) found in the MHI. They are common in shallow water in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), but the populations in the MHI are very deep… usually beyond the reaches of even the craziest SCUBA divers. The species was unknown to science until 1972 when a female specimen was collected off of the Big Island. In 1973 a few more females were taken off of Oahu… the first in shallow water off of Magic Island right near Waikiki believe it or not. I spoke to Rich Pyle about these guys just this past week… for whatever reason in 1973 a few G. personatus were found within SCUBA range that year, but no males were collected. In 1975 Jack Randall began describing the species based on these catches, and theorized that the males would have stripes like many other male Genicanthus. In late 1975 the first male Genicanthus personatus known to man was collected, and Jack had to redescribe the species after this. In another stroke of irony, I just had dinner on Friday night, two days before the trip, with Jack Randall and his wife at their house, and got the whole story of G. personatus… Below is a shot of me with the living legend and his wife…


Jack is now 83 and still describing new fish, and for those of you who don’t know him, he has described more valid reef fish species than any other ichthyologist in history, and more fish species than any living ichthyologist (now over 700!). As a preface for those of you worrying about the rarity of this species, please understand that the fish is just rare in the industry because of its deep dwelling nature and its inability to be collected in the NWHI… the major breeding populations are deep in the MHI and out of reach of collectors.

Anyway, back to the story… Jesse was the first to surface, and finally I could ask the 50 or so questions I had…


It turned out Rufus, the crazy half fish half man that he is (like Kevin Costner in Waterworld), caught this sucker! Rufus finally surfaced… the smile said it all… 15 years of collecting and he had finally caught the fish that every Hawaiian collector dreams of…


On the way back we again saw many baitballs of fish… Rufus speared this good size amberjack on the way… The live well underneath was where the masked angel was, and no blood got in (I made sure to check )…


Anyway… I’ll shut up and give what all of you want… photos! Check this sucker out…

In the live well… as Hawaiian as the shaka… second shot is back on shore in styrofoam

__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.

Last edited by copps; 10/23/2007 at 12:28 AM.
  #3  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:19 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
My name is John… and I’m fish nerd… I believe I could say I was more excited than Rufus… who was pretty excited himself…


More…


In his home for the next few days…


Pearly white with a yellow Mohawk…


I just can’t get enough…


One of the guys had a little waterproof point and shoot… check these two out…


__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.
  #4  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:20 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
For a look at what a female looks like, here’s a shot I took of the pair on display at the Waikiki Aquarium. The aquarium has four specimens, all collected female in the NWHI years ago… two of them 15 years ago…this is the more recent pair with the female below…


I was so excited about this fish, that I completely overlooked the gang of bandit angels they collected… this was a shot of the smallest caught on the dive at about three inches… obviously you could use my hand for reference… a bandit this small is a fairly rare site alone!


The irony was unbelievable in so many ways… on top of everything Frank Baensch (a good friend of mine here in Oahu who runs RCT Hawaii that breeds angelfish) and I met up with Rich Pyle at the Bishop Museum two days before the personatus was caught (Friday afternoon)… I saw the entire fish collection preserved there, including the holotype (the specimen used to describe the species) of G. personatus of all things! I also saw the first ever megamouth collected… 14 feet and preserved in alcohol since the 70s! I saw holotypes of so many angels on top of it, including the peppermint, narcosis, nahacky, debelius, and the only Apolemichthys guezei ever caught… Here’s a shot of myself, John Earle, and Rich Pyle holding the holotype Centropyge abei… the newest species of angelfish (which REALLY looks like an Apolemichthys by the way)…


Anyway… sorry to be so long winded… but this is about as good as it gets for an angelfish nut… and congrats to Rufus and the team!
__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.
  #5  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:31 AM
LukFox LukFox is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 1,593
Wow wow wow. Amazing! Really there are no other words!

Where is this fish going to end up?
  #6  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:35 AM
tfp tfp is offline
August TFR Relay '07
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 1,429
Send a message via Yahoo to tfp
damn john! that is so cool . i know you're the biggest angel fan on RC and i'm glad you got to be a part of the find.
  #7  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:36 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
Quote:
Originally posted by LukFox
Wow wow wow. Amazing! Really there are no other words!

Where is this fish going to end up?
Still undecided... needless to say someone with a passion for angels (like me) and alot of money to spend (not like me!)... I've dropped some cash on angels, but nothing close to what this guy will go for... really though this opportunity just does not come around often... if I weren't married with a two year old I think I would be crazy enough to get it though... it's in perfect shape...

Edit: If someone wants to sponsor this fish for me please PM me!

Quote:
Originally posted by tfp
damn john! that is so cool . i know you're the biggest angel fan on RC and i'm glad you got to be a part of the find.
It really is just crazy... I cannot tell you how excited I am to have this memory for the rest of my life... I am sitting here on my hotel balcony overlooking Waikiki with a smile from ear to ear... unfortunately I do not have the life like these guys do and I'll have to return to the mainland... but again... this memory!
__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.

Last edited by copps; 10/23/2007 at 12:50 AM.
  #8  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:53 AM
LukFox LukFox is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 1,593
Aw so the fact that you helped collect it means nothing? It would rock if you could keep it.
  #9  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:59 AM
copps copps is offline
angelfish nut!
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 1,079
Saying I helped collect this fish is like saying Al Michael's helped the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets... I was just a bystander... I always knew though these suckers were here if you know where to look...
__________________
- John

Attention to detail!

Just say NO to detritus

What is recommended to the novice and what experienced reefers do are two different things.

Last edited by copps; 10/23/2007 at 01:07 AM.
  #10  
Old 10/23/2007, 01:04 AM
LukFox LukFox is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 1,593
Haha, well darn xD.
  #11  
Old 10/23/2007, 01:59 AM
zemuron114 zemuron114 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pilgrim State (Mass)
Posts: 3,288
nice pics john. Im sure you had to change your wetsuit afterwards

It looks like i decompressed well. Rufus is a very good collector so it should do fine. Beautiful fish, but not for me I would rather an ultra rare pygmy angel!

freshly caught personatus look so much nicer then ones in the aquarium - the male seems washed out compared to that pic.

you always seem to be in the right places at the right time
__________________
"we are not here, we are the imagionations of ourselves"
  #12  
Old 10/23/2007, 03:13 AM
alikatoes alikatoes is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Honolulu Hawaii
Posts: 213
You were a key member to the crew! Without a boatman that dive would have been impossible or very risky. Your precision line dropping insured a proper deco for us and the fish. That was hands down the highlight of my dive career for so many reasons.

By the way I was indeed terrified to be the first guy to jump in the water with a school of sharks breaking the surface while feeding. Rufus' foot on my back, kicking me away from the saftey of the boat was really motivating though...

Big thanks to the whole crew (you too John) for a great dive day.
  #13  
Old 10/23/2007, 03:45 AM
Hormigaquatica Hormigaquatica is offline
Hydrophilic
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,880
Wow- congrats to everyone involved. Im jealous of the divers for their collection, and jealous of copps for getting the opportunity to meet Baensch, Pyle and all the others. A wonderful trip for sure!
__________________
Reaching up and reaching out and reaching for the random, or whatever will bewilder me.

Have Some Personal Accountability
  #14  
Old 10/23/2007, 03:58 AM
Freed Freed is offline
Ich Rumor/Myth Buster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ft. Wayne, IN.
Posts: 5,350
How much does one of these go for anyway?
__________________
Freed
  #15  
Old 10/23/2007, 04:20 AM
zemuron114 zemuron114 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pilgrim State (Mass)
Posts: 3,288
prices for these types of fish are generally determined by Asia since, well, US are cheapskates! Since one hasn't entered the hobby in a decade or so (i believe) this one will have quite the price tag retail in the US, i would say easily 10,000 or more (i stress the more) if it follows the normal chain of events. pricey little guy, but some Japanese hobbiest will be very happy to have one!
__________________
"we are not here, we are the imagionations of ourselves"
  #16  
Old 10/23/2007, 06:48 AM
racerw racerw is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: fl
Posts: 463
Congratulations John what an awesome experience for an angelfish nut like yourself to be a part of. I bet you didn't get any sleep last night

Last edited by racerw; 10/23/2007 at 06:54 AM.
  #17  
Old 10/23/2007, 08:25 AM
jmaneyapanda jmaneyapanda is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Blue Ridge, GA
Posts: 1,589
Ack!!! John, I'm going from really liking you, to really disliking you. Next, you're gonna tell me you won the lottery on something!

That fish looks like a creamsicle. MMMMMM, creamsicle.
__________________
"Everybody's clever nowadays"
  #18  
Old 10/23/2007, 08:49 AM
triggerfish1976 triggerfish1976 is offline
Anti "So called Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 1,978
John,

Geez, I was only kidding about bringing me back a Personatus.
  #19  
Old 10/23/2007, 09:04 AM
blface blface is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: meeechigan
Posts: 418
That is one awesome story!! I'm glad you were there to experience it.
  #20  
Old 10/23/2007, 09:30 AM
SDguy SDguy is offline
My reef is my fix :-D
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,866
That's just an incredible time you had there John. Congrats!
__________________
Peter

Click my red house to see my tank :-)
  #21  
Old 10/23/2007, 09:38 AM
marinebetta marinebetta is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Singapore
Posts: 206
Wow! That's one really good looking fish, John. Reading the first post, I was sure it was going to be in one of your tanks Thanks for sharing...
  #22  
Old 10/23/2007, 10:23 AM
Rare Angels Rare Angels is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Appleton, Wi
Posts: 599
John,

That is one heck of a trip. Its awesome that you got to experience everything and we thank you for doing such a good job of sharing it with the rest of us.

Congrats

Dave
  #23  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:21 PM
jmaneyapanda jmaneyapanda is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Blue Ridge, GA
Posts: 1,589
In the pic with the bandit, whats the deal with the scribbled? I didnt think they were endemic to hawaii. Am I wrong?
__________________
"Everybody's clever nowadays"
  #24  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:36 PM
thor32766 thor32766 is offline
Keeper of Tangs
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chuluota, FL
Posts: 4,781
wow that is awesome!! looks like the trip of a lifetime!
__________________
Everyone you meet, knows something you don't.
  #25  
Old 10/23/2007, 12:42 PM
blface blface is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: meeechigan
Posts: 418
All of you people with expendable funds can find this fish for sale @ www.justrarefish.com . I wonder how much their asking for it. It's a beauty.
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central™ Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2009