Following up on the story we posted several days ago regarding the gold crown butterflyfish, Chaetodon (Roaps) flavocoronatus,Â as we expected at least one of these specimens has shown up for sale in Japan. However, in contrast to the nearly perfect gold crown pictured in our previous post, the 9cm specimen pictured above definitely seem to indicate this fish is more of a cross between Roaps declivis and Roaps burgessi. In contrast to a full blooded ‘Flavo’ which only has a crown that extends down to the upper margin of the gill cover, the Kiribati gold crown butterflyfish variant has a crown which extends well past the lower margin of the gill cover, almost down to the base of the pectoral fin, very much like Roaps burgessi. The possibility that these gold crown butterflyfish are a hybrid of burgess and declivis butterflyfish is a more plausible origin for these fish as the collection was more than slightly outside the recorded range for Roaps flavocoronatus. So are these fish localized Flavo variants or a hybrid of other Roaps species? let us know what you think in the comments.
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.