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Related FAQs: Indonesian Angelfishes, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,   

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Related Articles: The Marine Angelfish family, Pomacanthidae, Best Marine Angels

/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

Marine Angelfishes of  Indonesia

Bob Fenner


Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Genus Apolemichthys:

Apolemichthys griffisi (Carlson & Taylor 1981), Griffis' Angelfish (2). Occasionally imported from Indonesia and the Solomon Islands. Found in various parts of the Central Pacific. To ten inches overall length. Below, seven and nine cm. individuals (Photos by Hiroyuki Tanaka) and six inch one in captivity by RMF.

Apolemichthys trimaculatus (Cuvier 1831), the Three-Spot Angelfish (2). Can make a hardy addition to a good size (100 gallons plus) established reef system. To about six inches long. East African coast to western Pacific. To ten inches in the wild. A 1 1/2" juvenile in captivity and full-size adult in the Seychelles.

Genus Centropyge:

Centropyge aurantius Randall & Wass 1974, the Golden Pygmy Angel  (1) is a real striker. It's a shame that this species hides so well, necessitating extensive breaking of coral and drug or poison use in its collection, and hiding for so much of the time in captivity. Western Pacific Ocean, Indonesia to Caroline Islands. Aquarium photos of a 6 cm. specimen from Bali by Hiroyuki Tanaka and a 9 cm. one in captivity by RMF.

Centropyge bicolor (Bloch 1787), the Blue-and-Gold, Pacific Rock Beauty, Bicolor or Oriole Dwarf Angel (3), is highly variable in it's survivability in captivity. Some shipments are 100% live on arrival, others can be just the opposite within days. Better specimens come from other than the Philippines or Indonesia. To 6" if they live. One in N. Sulawesi.

Centropyge bispinosa (Gunther 1860), Two-Spined, Dusky or Coral Beauty Angel (2). Usually hardy from everywhere but the Philippines. Found widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific to central Pacific. One in N. Sulawesi.

Centropyge colini Smith-Vainz & Randall 1974, Colin's Dwarf Angel (3), is a deepwater form (usually collected below 100 feet) that does poorly as far as the genus goes. Rare and expensive in the hobby. Indo-west Pacific to western Pacific area. Thanks to Evan McLaughlin for this pic!

Centropyge eibli Klausewitz 1963, Eibl's Dwarf Angel (1), is an excellent aquarium species, especially coming from Sri Lanka, its principal source, though found all over the eastern Indian Ocean over to the Maldives. Closely related to Centropyge vroliki of the Pacific, with which it hybridizes. Aquarium pix by Hiroyuki Tanaka and RMF.

Centropyge flavicauda Fraser-Brunner 1933, the Damsel or White-Tail Dwarf Angel (2), is rarely seen in the trade; one of the dwarf-dwarf angels, growing to only a couple of inches in length. Indo-west and central Pacific. Pix by Hiroyuki Tanaka and RMF collected off of Nichinan Coast and Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia.


Centropyge heraldi Woods & Schultz 1953, Herald's or the False Lemonpeel Angel (2), are overall yellow with a variable amount of black on their dorsal fins and behind the eyes (males), but never with the blue outline around the eyes of the "true" Lemonpeel, Centropyge flavissimus. Central and western Pacific Ocean. Aquarium and N. Sulawesi pix.

Centropyge nox (Bleeker 1853), the Midnight or Black Pygmy Angel (3) is as its name implies overall black. Only a few of this shy species adapts well to captivity. Western Pacific.

Centropyge tibicen (Cuvier 1831), the Keyhole Pygmy Angel (2). Some folks have had better success with this species than I and my associates. Start with a mid-sized specimen, 3-4". Indo-west Pacific.

Centropyge vroliki (Bleeker 1853), the Pearl-Scaled or Half-Black Dwarf Angel (1), is one of my standard, "marine aquarium service account species". Very hardy. Indo-west Pacific Ocean in distribution. Closely related to, and hybridizes with Centropyge flavissimus and Centropyge eibli. Aquarium and N. Sulawesi pix.

Genus Chaetodontoplus:

Chaetodontoplus chrysocephalus (Bleeker 1854), Orange-Faced Angelfish (2). Possibly a variant or male of C. septentrionalis, or a cross between it and C. melanosoma. Western Pacific Ocean, Japan to Indonesia.

I got to get out more often

Chaetodontoplus duboulayi (Gunther 1867), the Scribbled Angelfish (1). A more common import from the genus. Best started at 4-5 inches to wean over wild foods (sea squirts, sponges). To twelve inches overall in the wild. North coast of Australia to New Guinea. One inch and adult aquarium and Airlie Beach, QLD pix by RMF. 3 cm. by Hiroyuki Tanaka at right.  

Chaetodontoplus melanosoma (Bleeker 1853), Black Velvet Angelfish (2). Variable in initial health from wild. Best to leave at the dealer's a good week or two. Indonesia on up to southern Japan. To eight inches long. 8 cm. individual by Hiroyuki Tanaka and 15 cm. by RMF.

Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus (Bloch 1787), the Vermiculated Angelfish, better known in the west as the Singapore Angel (2), the most commonly imported member of the genus, and at six inches maximum, one of the better choices. Western Pacific. Yes, it looks more like a Butterflyfish than an Angel. Aquarium, N. Sulawesi and Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia images.

Genus Genicanthus:

Genicanthus lamarck (Lacepede 1802), Lamarck's Angelfish (2). Indo-Australia Archipelago. To seven inches in length. Probably the most common member of the genus used in the trade. Males and female in N. Sulawesi and female shown off of Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia.

Genicanthus melanospilos (Bleeker 1857), the Black-Spot Angelfish (2). Similar to G. caudovittatus to the west, this species is found throughout the tropical western Pacific. Also to about six inches long. Male and Female shown in captivity. Below, male and female in Fiji.

Genus Paracentropyge:

Centropyge multifasciata (Smith & Radcliffe 1911), the Multi-Barred Angel (2). More deep-bodied than other Centropyge and with 13 versus the usual 14, 15 dorsal rays of other dwarfs. Not imported regularly in any numbers. Currently  placed in the genus Paracentropyge. 

Genus Pomacanthus:

Pomacanthus annularis (Bloch 1787), the Blue-Ringed Angelfish (1). An oft-neglected beauty, that is surprisingly (to some) hardy. Indo-west Pacific and east African coast. To about eight inches overall. Changing juvenile, sub-adult in captivity, adult in Pulau Redang, Malaysia.
Pomacanthus imperator (Bloch 1787), the Emperor Angel (1). Widespread in the central and western Pacific into the Indian Oceans coasts and Red Sea. To fifteen inches total length. Shown are a juvenile of about four inches in captivity and an adult in the Maldives.

Pomacanthus (Euxiphipops) navarchus (Cuvier 1831), the Navarchus, Majestic or Blue-Girdled Angelfish (3). Found throughout the Indo-Australian Archipelago. To ten inches in length. Juvenile (2") and adult  (6") in aquarium shown.

Pomacanthus semicirculatus (Cuvier 1831), the Koran or Semicircle Angelfish (1). A beauty from throughout its wide range, Indo-west Pacific eastward to Africa, but not the Red Sea. To about thirteen inches in length. At right, 1 and 7 cm. individuals by Hiroyuki Tanaka. Shown below: two, five and twelve inch individuals, the first two in captivity, the adult in Fiji.

Pomacanthus (Euxiphipops) sexstriatus (Cuvier 1831), the Six-Striped/Banded Angelfish (3). One of the largest angelfishes at some eighteen inches maximum length. Also found throughout the Indo-Australian Archipelago.  Juvenile in aquarium (3") and adult  (10") in Australia shown.

Pomacanthus (Euxiphipops) xanthometopon (Bleeker 1853), Yellow-Mask or Blue-Face Angelfish (3). Indo-west Pacific to the Maldives. To thirteen inches in length. At right, a 7 cm. individual in captivity, photo by Hiroyuki Tanaka. Below: Juvenile (3"), changeling (4") in captivity and foot long adult in the Maldives shown.

Genus Pygoplites:

Pygoplites diacanthus (Boddaert 1772), the Regal Angelfish. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea, East Africa to the Tuamotus, north to southern Japan. To ten inches in length. Note the gray chest area of this Fijian specimen. The more desirable, hardier Indian Ocean and Red Sea ones have an orange chest area. Below, tiny 2 and 3 cm. specimens photographed in captivity by Hiroyuki Tanaka. 


Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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