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Raja Ampat’s biodiversity never fails to astound. Three new species of reef fish were discovered at Misool Eco Resort by Dr Mark Erdmann during Fish Geek Week, February 11-18th 2011. This brings the total number of identified species in Raja Ampat up to 1414. Wow! Mark found 2 new cardinal fish from different genuses, Siphamia and Apogonichthyoides. The 3rd was a type of Ptereleotris dartfish.
 Mark also recorded 5 species of reef fish never before seen in Raja Ampat, and perhaps most exciting of all, identified 3 species of Flasher Wrasse on our House Reef. For those of unfamiliar with their antics, these tiny wrasses are usually rather drab in appearance. Just around sunset, the males start their impressive courtship number. In the space of milliseconds, they transform themselves from pedestrian little reef dwellers into spectacularly flamboyant fellas. Quite a strategy to get the ladies’ attention, but it seems to be working!

The flasher wrasses identified on Misool Eco Resort’s House Reef were Paracheilinus cyaneus (pictures at left), Paracheilinus nursalim (found only in Misool and Kaimana), and Paracheilinus filamentosus.

To celebrate all this gorgeous bidiversity, Misool Eco Resort held raffle on the last night of the trip. All the proceeds were collected to support the local Ranger Patrol, which enforces the boundaries of their newly expanded 1220 sq km No-Take Zone. They managed to raise over 2000 Euros! And one lucky winner won a free trip to Misool Eco Resort. Congratulations, Michael and Alison!

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