Scalyfin Basslet, Liopropoma longilepis: The Scalyfin Basslet is a very colorful fish and one of the few bright red oceanic fishes.
The Scalyfin Basslet resides in relatively deep water. They have elongated bodies with pointed heads that have a near horizontal profile with large eyes and a slightly upturned very large mouth with a projecting lower jaw.
The upper part of the body is red which gradates to white ventrally. They have a prominent straight red lateral line. There is a distinctive dark red line running from the top of the mouth horizontally to the back of the eye. The anal fin, caudal fin, and dorsal fins are red with yellow margins. The pectoral fin is red and the pelvic fin is transparent (as pictured below).
Scalyfin Basslets have an exceedingly deep tail base that is is similar in size to the depth of the body. The tail is strongly concave. The bodies are covered with small rough scales.
It is an easy fish species to identify due its unique coloration pattern and cannot be confused with any other species.
They reside between 360 and 750 feet in the water column over and within rocky reefs.
Scalyfin Basslets are known residents of parts of the Sea of Cortez. We have also documented the southerly range extension of this species as far south as 23.41N and 110.23W, which is previously unknown. Otherwise this very deep water species is very poorly documented which is attributed to its obscurity.
The Scalyfin Basslet is exceedingly rare and lacks significant documentation and photos within the scientific literature. It is a close relative of the Rainbow Basslet, Liopropoma fasciatum.
The Scalyfin Basslet is a member of the Serranidae Family which includes perches, groupers and sea basses which in Mexico fishing waters are known as cabrillas and meros. It is one of only two members of the Liopropoma genus found in Mexican fishing waters.