With so many rare fish floating around in the aquarium industry lately, what new species could garner our attention before it is even caught? Enter the diminutive Centropyge debelius. This beautiful rarity can only be found in the Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles Islands of the Western Indian Ocean. Since it’s discovery in 1988, only a handful of specimens have been available to the global aquarium trade and without any real data to go from, we would guess that only one or two dozen specimens have ever made it to aquarium life. With such a disparity of specimens, it is with great excitement that we learned that this species is being explicitly targeted for collection and importation into the U.S. . Should this operation be successful at importing more than a handful of specimens, it is quite possible that this species could become ‘affordable’ with prices on par with Clarion Angelfish or Gem Tangs. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with new developments of Operation Debelius. Photo by Hugues Vitry.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.