Anthias, Psuedoanthias, and associated species,
are sub-members of the grouper family, which live in large schools and
consist of males living within harems of numerous females.
Anthias are small fish, most reaching only 2 to 4 inches. They display
brilliant colors of red, pink, orange, yellow and purple. These colors
are part of their territorial display features, and aid in camouflage
as the light fades on the coral reef. They have bullet shape which allows
for quick speed for feeding or defense. Most often they glide around and
may not even move much for great lengths of time, except when food is placed
into the tank. Their mouths are large which is a trait of the Grouper family
that they are part of.
Anthias live in large colonies around branching corals which they find
shelter and a place to rest at night. They are active during the daylight
and spend most of their time swimming above the coral reef, feeding on
plankton. Their number of individuals within a specific school can be in
Schools are made up of smaller groups which are called harems with one
male and approximately six to twenty females.
Anthias are hermaphrodites, meaning they can change from sex to another,
from male to female. They are all born as females, which are not as colorful
as the male of the species, and at some point some of these females can
become males. This sex-change ensures that there will always be a male
and a female to reproduce.