Hong Kong through Digiman’s eyes part 2: A hat-trick of ultra lemonpeel hybrids

By on Dec 12, 2013

This is a continuation of Digiman’s two-part Hong Kong travel experience. In part 1, we took a look at the collection of two renowned HK reefers, namely Dr. Chung and Jimma Ma. Here, we take a quick look at Digiman’s findings and his purchases for his home trip back to Singapore: three ultra lemonpeel hybrids like we’ve never seen.

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A gift from Digiman. A blue faced blue spotted ultra lemonpeel hybrid from Hong Kong that now resides with me.

As mentioned in part 1 of this travelogue, Hong Kong is an angelfish mecca and has big buying power for all hybrid and rare angels. Digiman’s presence at the right place and the right time allowed him to buy three beautiful and incredible hybrid lemonpeel angelfish. The first one seen here is a beautiful blue spotted hybrid with a subtle blue face. This Vanuatu caught lemonpeel hybrid from SRS Vanuatu fits the criteria for what the trade colloquially calls “ultra hybrid”.

Normal F1 hybrids between C. flavissima and C. vroliki will usually only produce a slightly more yellowish version of C. vroliki. However because these hybrids are fertile, they can in turn mate with more hybrids from various generations, or back cross with either of the parental species. This ability to hybridize freely with so many possibilities creates a swath of intermediate appearances, and in rare cases, crazy ridiculously beautiful offspring with wild expression of the blue genes that can manifest itself in spots or squiggles all over the place.

srs hybrid

Another ultra hybrid posted by SRS Vanuatu before shipping to HK.

The second ultra peel that came alongside the blue face blue spot is an incredible specimen with extensive scribbling all over the body. Such ultra scribbled hybrids of C. flavissima are so rare that the last time we recalled seeing one was Reborn’s specimen back in 2010. Like the previous blue spotted hybrid, the scribbled lemonpeel has the same spotting around its tail and face region, but possess an extra set of squiggles travelling along its body. Depending on the angle and lighting, these squiggles can appear anywhere from faint to blinding neon. A clever play on the aquarium lighting will allow this fish to shine (quite literally) to its full potential.

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Digiman’s ultra scribbled lemonpeel.

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A short clip above showing Digiman’s scribbled lemonpeel and the last lemonpeel hybrid that he obtained on his trip – the illustrious Tigerpyge. Fellow rare fish enthusiast and a friend of Reef Builders Jimmy Ma presented Digiman with the opportunity of purchasing one of five of his tigerpyges. Trying to create a harem of these beautiful hybrids did not end entirely in his favour and has left the smallest specimen out of the running to live in his display tank. As such, Jimmy offered the piece to Digiman.

tigerpyge

Even in this grainy cellphone picture, the beauty of this tigerpyge can be clearly seen. The very yellow body and speckling around the head region are clear signs of a high grade hybrid.

While all tigerpyges are beautiful, there are certain levels of grading that determine exactly how beautiful it is. Some specimens are more grey due to having more genetic input from C. eibli, while some have faint stripes. A very yellow specimen with strong striping indicates a well rounded and higher grade hybrid with more desirable characteristics. Of course since these are natural wild hybrids and are rare, no one will complain with whatever they end up getting.

There you have it. An end to Digiman’s adventure to the angelfish mother ship, and a cherry on top for him with his incredible finds. Once again a huge thanks to Digiman and Jimmy Ma, and and a personal thank you for the blue spotted hybrid. Until our next travelogue!

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