The species is named for the location where it was collected, Hanga Piko, meaning “hidden bay” in the Rapa Nui language.
The new species is currently known only from Rapa Nui. The holotype and paratypes were collected at a depth of 83 m at a small, rocky patch reef surrounded by a large sandy area.
Due to geographical isolation and the high degree of endemism (21.7%) among the shore fishes of Rapa Nui (Delrieu-Trottin et al. 2019), it is likely that Pseudanthias hangapiko is endemic to the island.
Color in Life:
Pseudanthias hangapiko is sexually dichromatic.
The body of males is pinkish with yellow and dark red hiding most of the ground color, except on the belly and throat.
Rows of metallic magenta spots, about one per scale, cover the body, forming an irregular pattern of spots beginning behind the orbit and extending to the base of the caudal fin.
The upper third of the body is dark red, the sides yellow.
The dorsal fin is dark red, with a thin yellow stripe along the upper margin, the posterior half of the soft dorsal fin base of less distinct color extending about one-fourth the height of the dorsal fin.
On the upper posterior margin of the dorsal fin is a dark gray area extending over the last five to six fin rays, pectoral fins are hyaline, pelvic and anal fins are yellow in the anterior half, hyaline posteriorly.
The caudal fin is red with yellow-orange filaments, and a yellow spot is visible at the ventral origin of the caudal fin.
The head is pale orange and red along the snout and between the eyes, the opercula are yellow, and the eyes are red and darker along the outer margin.
The body of females is predominantly pink with less pronounced red and yellow markings, silvery pink on the operculum, throat, and abdomen.
The spotted pattern of metallic magenta scales is distributed at a greater distance than in males, the anterior dorsal third of the head is dark red, pale silvery pink below.
A faint orange can be seen on the tip of the snout and lower jaw.
The dorsal fin is red with a thin yellow stripe along the upper margin, on the posterior half of the soft dorsal fin base.
On the upper margin of the dorsal fin, the dark gray area is more pronounced than in males, encompassing the rearmost ten to twelve fin rays.
The pectoral fins are hyaline, and the pelvic and anal fins are also hyaline with faint yellow markings on the anterior margin.
A thin magenta line shows on the distal margin of the anal fin, the outermost caudal fin rays are yellow with red, especially on the upper and lower margins and near the base of the caudal fin, the midmost caudal fin rays are hyaline, thin dark gray lines can be seen on the distal margin of the upper and lower caudal fin filaments.
The eyes are silvery, darker on the outer margin.
Shepherd B, Pinheiro HT, Phelps TAY, Pérez-Matus A, Rocha LA (2021)
Pseudanthias hangapiko, a new anthiadine serranid (Teleostei, Serranidae, Anthiadinae) from Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
ZooKeys 1054: 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1054.64508