Paracentropyge multifasciata

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Paracentropyge multifasciata
Paracentropyge multifasciatus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Paracentropyge
Burgess, 1991
Species: P. multifasciata
Binomial name
Paracentropyge multifasciata
(Smith & Radcliffe, 1911)

Centropyge multifasciata Smith & Radcliffe, 1911
Holacanthus multifasciatus Smith & Radcliffe, 1911

The barred angelfish or multibarred angelfish (Paracentropyge multifasciata) is a species of marine angelfish (family Pomacanthidae) of the order Perciformes. It is native to the Indo-Pacific, more specifically an area from the Cocos-Keeling Atoll to the Society Islands, ranging north to the Yaeyama Islands and south to the Great Barrier Reef.[1] This species is the only member of its genus.[2] P. multifasciata is a deeper-bodied species of dwarf angelfish. It has a white base color with eight black vertical bars that become yellowish ventrally and it grows to 12 cm SL. Juveniles possess fewer bars and have a distinctive ocellus on their dorsal fin that fades when they grow.[3] It inhabits caves and crevices in outer reef slopes and can be found in depths between 20m and 70m. P. multifasciata feeds on algae, sponges, tunicates and other benthic invertebrates and small crustaceans and can often be seen foraging upside-down on cave ceilings.

Paracentropyge multifasciata lives in harems with one dominant male and usually multiple females. Like all other angelfish it is a protogynous hermaphrodite, with all individuals being female initially and the dominant ones changing to males. Barred angelfish are broadcast spawners, releasing their gametes into the water column after an intense and lengthy mating ritual. They show no parental care. The larvae hatch after 16–18 hours from the small eggs (0.7mm in diameter). They have a pelagic phase of up to 50 days[4] after which they become benthic and metamorphose into juveniles.

In the aquarium[edit]

This species is one of the medium priced dwarf angelfish with sales prices usually ranging from $50 to $100 per specimen (2010). Availability may vary but P. multifasciata cannot be considered "rare" in the trade. They usually arrive in fish stores in good health, problems can however arise when keeping them in sterile quarantine settings without live rock where not enough food can be found, as barred angelfish often do not accept artificial or frozen foods initially. Aquarists will therefore have to weigh the risks of skipping quarantine. Applying freshwater dips before placing P. multifasciata in their tanks is usually sufficient to prevent the introduction of protozoans via these fish.

Barred angelfish are social fish and should be kept in pairs or larger groups in large enough reef tank settings. Keeping more than one specimen also facilitates weaning them onto frozen or prepared foods (pelleted fish food or flakes, Artemia, Mysis, mussels and fresh oysters). After introduction to the tank P. multifasciata can be quite shy and reclusive, but when they have established their territory this will almost always improve. Outgoing but not too aggressive tank mates, such as for example surgeonfish or butterflyfish can help with overcoming timidness. When keeping barred angelfish with other species of angelfishes, the different levels of aggressiveness of the different species have to be taken into account, as P. multifasciata is one of the less aggressive members of the genus.[3]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2016). "Paracentropyge multifasciata" in FishBase. October 2016 version.
  2. ^ Delrieu-Trottin, E., Williams, J.T., Bacchet, P., Kulbicki, M., Mourier, J., Galzin, R., Lison de Loma, T., Mou-Tham, G., Siu, G. & Planes, S. (2015): Shore fishes of the Marquesas Islands, an updated checklist with new records and new percentage of endemic species. Check List, 11 (5): 1-13.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^