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Centropyge argi - pone.0010676.g102.png
Centropyge argi
Flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula).jpg
Centropyge loriculus
Scientific classification e
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:

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
Abe's Anglefish (Centropyge abei), Waikiki Aquarium.JPG Centropyge abei G. R. Allen, Young & P. L. Colin, 2006 Abe's pygmy angelfish western Pacific Ocean, amongst the islands of Indonesia and Palau
Centropyge acanthops Réunion.JPG Centropyge acanthops (Norman, 1922) Orange-back pygmy angelfish east coast of Africa,
Cherub fish Centropyge argi.jpg Centropyge argi Woods & Kanazawa, 1951 Cherub pygmy angelfish the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, North to North Carolina.
Centropyge aurantia J. E. Randall & Wass, 1974 Golden pygmy angelfish the western Pacific Ocean: Indonesia and the Great Barrier Reef.
Centropyge aurantonotus.jpg Centropyge aurantonotus W. E. Burgess, 1974 Flame-back pygmy angelfish southern Caribbean Sea and the coastal waters of Brazil
Centropyge bicolor.jpg Centropyge bicolor (Bloch, 1787) Bicolor pygmy angelfish Indo-Pacific region: including East Africa, Southern Japan, Australia, and even Fiji.
Centropyge bispinosa 1.jpg Centropyge bispinosa (Günther, 1860) Two-spined pygmy angelfish Indo-Pacific
Peppermint Angelfish (Paracentropyge boylei), Waikiki Acquarium.JPG Centropyge boylei Pyle & J. E. Randall, 1992 Peppermint pygmy angelfish eastern-central Pacific around the Cook Islands and Rarotonga
Centropyge cocosensis K. N. Shen, C. W. Chang, Delrieu-Trottin & Borsa, 2016 Cocos pygmy angelfish [6] Eastern Indian Ocean: Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island.
Centropyge Colini.jpg Centropyge colini Smith-Vaniz & J. E. Randall, 1974 Cocos-Keeling angelfish Indo-west Pacific Ocean, including around the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Centropyge debelius Pyle, 1990 Blue Mauritius pygmy angelfish Western Indian Ocean: Mauritius, Réunion, and the Aldabra Group (Seychelles).
Centropyge deborae K. N. Shen, H. C. Ho & C. W. Chang, 2012 Blue velvet pygmy angelfish [7] Fiji
Centropyge eibli.jpg Centropyge eibli Klausewitz, 1963 Black-tail pygmy angelfish the Indo-Pacific.
Centropyge ferrugata.jpg Centropyge ferrugata J. E. Randall & W. E. Burgess, 1972 Rusty pygmy angelfish Western Pacific Ocean
ChairoYK.jpg Centropyge fisheri (Snyder, 1904) Orange pygmy angelfish Hawaii.
Centropyge flavipectoralis (Randall & Klausewitz, 1977).jpg Centropyge flavipectoralis J. E. Randall & Klausewitz, 1977 Yellow-fin pygmy angelfish Indian Ocean
Yellow Fish (5329967419).jpg Centropyge flavissima (G. Cuvier, 1831) Lemon-peel pygmy angelfish Indo-Pacific region
Centropyge heraldi.jpg Centropyge heraldi Woods & L. P. Schultz, 1953 Yellow pygmy angelfish [6] Pacific Ocean
Centropyge hotumatua J. E. Randall & D. K. Caldwell, 1973 Black-ear pygmy angelfish Eastern Pacific: Austral (including Rapa), Pitcairn and Easter islands.
Centropyge interruptus.jpg Centropyge interrupta (S. Tanaka (I), 1918) Japanese pygmy angelfish Ogasawara Islands south of Japan.
Centropyge joculator Smith-Vaniz & J. E. Randall, 1974 Yellow-head pygmy angelfish Eastern Indian Ocean: Cocos and Christmas Islands.
Flame angelfish (Centropyge loricula).jpg Centropyge loriculus (Günther, 1874) Flame pygmy angelfish reefs of Oceania, most common in Marshall, Line, and Cook Islands
Centropyge multicolor J. E. Randall & Wass, 1974 Multicolor pygmy angelfish Pacific Ocean
Centropyge multispinis 1.jpg Centropyge multispinis (Playfair, 1867) Dusky pygmy angelfish tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific
Centropyge nahackyi Kosaki, 1989 Nahacky's pygmy angelfish Eastern Central Pacific: Johnston Atoll. Strays reported from the Hawaiian Islands.
Centropyge narcosis Pyle & J. E. Randall, 1993 Narc pygmy angelfish Cook Islands
Centropyge nigriocellus Woods & L. P. Schultz, 1953 Black-spot pygmy angelfish Pacific Ocean near American Samoa; Cook Islands; Guam; Kiribati (Phoenix Is.); Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Nauru; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Tokelau; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., Johnston I., US Line Is.)
Centropyge nox (Bleeker, 1853) Midnight pygmy angelfish Western Pacific: Ryukyu Islands to Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia
Centropyge potteri.jpg Centropyge potteri (D. S. Jordan & Metz, 1912) Russet pygmy angelfish Johnston Atoll and the Hawaiian Islands in the central Pacific Ocean
Centropyge resplendens Lubbock & Sankey, 1975 Resplendent pygmy angelfish Ascension Island
Centropyge shepardi.jpg Centropyge shepardi J. E. Randall & Yasuda, 1979 Mango pygmy angelfish Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, and the Ogasawara Islands.
AburaYK.jpg Centropyge tibicen (G. Cuvier, 1831) Key-hole pygmy angelfish Indo-Pacific
Centropyge venusta (Yasuda & Tominaga, 1969) Purple-mask pygmy angelfish Western Pacific
Centropyge vrolikii.jpg Centropyge vrolikii (Bleeker, 1853) Pearl-scale angelfish Indo-West Pacific area
Centropyge woodheadi Kuiter, 1998 Black-fin pygmy angelfish [6] Southwestern Pacific: from the Great Barrier Reef to the Gambier archipelago.


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, 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, 47 (3): 831-845.
  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.