Vibranium Wrasse

The prominent purple, chain-link pattern on their scales would make for a great Black Panther costume, but there is no cloaking field hiding the vibranium wrasse, though just recently discovered in 2019 in the “twilight” zone off the coast of Tanzania. Like the mythical nation of Wakanda, this species of fairy wrasse – aptly called Cirrhilabrus wakanda – remained hidden for quite some time even though the dazzling, deep purple of their scales is visible at 200 feet deep. They are said to be so strongly pigmented that their color is retained when preserved for research, despite typically being lost. The name Wakanda originates from a Sioux female name meaning “inner magical powers”, and this wrasse seems to embody the name fully.

The vibranium wrasse have elongated and compressed bodies measuring up to 6cm long, with yellow heads which blend into colors of creamy orange and purple and blue bodies with bold purple scales. They eat mostly plankton, are found in deep coral reefs, and are closely related to some of the rarest species of fairy wrasses including the bloodspot fairy wrasse and the Red Sea fairy wrasse.