The flame x rusty angelfish hybrid which we first spotted at IMAC West in Long Beach a few weeks ago was the focus of much attention during the weekend show. A lot of flashes tried to stop the motion of the Rusty Flame for that stunning picture be we took the time to capture the tiny Pomacanthid gem in HD video.
This fish look sstrikingly similar to the mango angelfish, Centropyge shepardi, from Guam but this little bugger was collected far from there, and it has a number of features which are not usually found on full blooded mango angelfish: The colored tail, bands which extend above the lateral line and a long sloping forehead are all attributes of the Rusty Flame which are not present on most Shepardi angelfish.
The Rusty Flame angelfish is a hybrid which is sporadically exported from Cebu region of the Phillipines and although it may be unassuming at a small size, we suspect with age this fish will express more and more of it’s unique mixed genetics.
There are currently no exports out of Guam so if you should happen to see a Shepard’s/Mango angelfish in your neck of the reef, take a second look as it could very well be another Rusty Flame pygmy anglefish hybrid. Quality Marine gets deserves a fist-bump for bringing the Rusty Flame to the IMAC West show and displaying to the wider public.