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Centropyge argi - pone.0010676.g102.png
Centropyge argi
Flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula).jpg
Centropyge loriculus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Centropyge
Kaup, 1860

Centropyge is a genus of fish in the family Pomacanthidae found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean.[1] These species do not exceed 15 cm in length and live in haremic structures with one dominant male and multiple females.[1] Although it is hard to identify their gender; females are often shorter and more round finned. Like many other reef fish and all marine angelfish, this genus is protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that they start their adult lives as females and the dominant individual in a group can change to a male within days. A reversal of this sex change is possible if the social status of the individual changes, it is however a process that requires much more time.[2]

In aquaria[edit]

This genus prefer matured reef tanks due to the usually high water quality and the often used "live rock". In nature most species feed on algae, sponges and small benthic invertebrates. Having an abundance of well cured live rock will help to supplement their diet.[3] This is also in the interest of the aquarist, as underfed Centropyge angels may nip at corals and sessile invertebrates.[4] The difficulty of keeping varies from species to species, as does their rarity and correspondingly their price. These species are social that live in loose groups in the wild. So if multiple this genus is kept to a tank, they will establish a pecking order. To reduce the stresses of establishing the dominance in the group it is wise to choose semi-adult specimens or specimens of different size. Dwarf angels can be quite shy initially, hiding in corals, caves and crevices but become more outgoing when they have established their territory - if they are kept with appropriate tank mates and in appropriately sized tanks.[5]


There are currently 35 recognized species in this genus:


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2016). Species of Centropyge in FishBase. October 2016 version.
  2. ^ Hioki, S. & Suzuki, K. (1996): Sex changing from male to female on the way of protogynous process in three Centropyge angelfishes (Pomacanthidae: Teleostei). Bulletin of the Institute of Oceanic Research and Development, Tokai University, 17: 27–34.
  3. ^ Thomasser, A. Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish. WetWebMedia.
  4. ^ Hauter, S. & Hauter, D. (2016): Reef Tank Safe Angelfish. Saltaquarium.
  5. ^ Fenner, R. Perfect Little Angels, Genus Centropyge. WetWebMedia.
  6. ^ a b c Shen, K.-N., Chang, C.-W., Delrieu-Trottin, E. & Borsa, P. (2016): Lemonpeel (Centropyge flavissima) and yellow (C. heraldi) pygmy angelfishes each consist of two geographically isolated sibling species. Marine Biodiversity, First Online: 02 June 2016.
  7. ^ Shen, K.-N., Ho, H.-C. & Chang, C.-W. (2012): The Blue Velvet Angelfish Centropyge deborae sp. nov., a New Pomacanthid from the Fiji Islands, Based on Genetic and Morphological Analyses. Zoological Studies, 51 (3): 415-423.