New Species: Yellow eye sweeper, Pempheris flavicycla

Yellow eye sweeper, Pempheris flavicycla is a newly described species that would be perfect for the aquarium trade. The species originates from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. It is a rather colorful species that was earlier believed to be a subspecies of P. vanicolensis known as P. vanicolensis Cuvier.

There are two different subspecies of this species.

  • Pempheris flavicycla flavicycla that has been observed in Oman, Tanzania ( Mafia Island), Kenya (Wasini Island), Seychelles, Republic of Maldives, Lakshadweep, Sri Lanka, and islands of the Andaman Sea
  • Pempheris flavicycla marisrubri that originates from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Tadjoura off Djibouti. This subspecies feature larger eyes, longer pectoral fins, more ctenoid scales, the posterior nostril largest, and modally one fewer pectoral-fin rays.

The yellow eye sweeper, Pempheris flavicycla has exactly as the name suggest brightly yellow eyes. The body is a varm orange almost golden color that is contrasted by a blue line thar runs on the bottom of the body. The top of the body can sometimes seems to have an almost green hue. A picture is however worth a thousand words so just look at the picture above to see the fish. The picture depicts P.  flavicycla marisrubri

It is a shooling species that could add color to any tank if they can be responsibly collected in large enough numbers or if they can be bred in captivity. There is as far as we know no reports of any sweeper species being bred in captivity. If you know of any breedings please post a comment below with any info you might have. This means that we atleast in the short run likely will have to rely on wild caught specimens. The species is found in shallow water ( Less than 15 m / 45 ft) which should make collecting this species easy if they exist in large enough numbers and if there is a demand for the species in the hobby. Sweepers are however a group of good looking, but by they trade often overlooked fish species. This is sad since there are several gems among the sweepers.

Read More:

Randall, J.E., Bogorodsky, S.V., Alpermann, T.J., Satapoomin, U., Mooi, R.D., & Mal, A.O. (2013) Pempheris flavicycla, a new pempherid fish from the Indian Ocean, previously identified as P. vanicolensis Cuvier. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 9: 1-23.

2 thoughts on “New Species: Yellow eye sweeper, Pempheris flavicycla”

  1. Dave

    I had the experience of catching a few pempheris around the jetty ( Singapore) . I tried many ways to breed this fish but was not successful. The fish can last at most 4 days . Is sad to see them die with not apparent injuries on their body . The rest of the fishes I caught survive in the same tank are ok , fishes being caught by me can last till 6 months in captivity . Please advice if possible , how to breed pempheris . Thanks . Dave


    1. Cliff

      Sorry Dave, but I have no experiance breeding these fish. If you are having problems with wild caught fish dieing off, then it is most likely something realted to: the method you are using to catch them, your acclimation process to the tank you are keeping them in, or something to do with the water parameters in your tank.


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