Apolemichthys guezei, the Reunion Island angelfish was only described in 1978 yet since that time it has rarely been photographed once in its natural habitat and it has never even been close to collection for the aquarium trade. Since so few pictures of the Reunion Island Angelfish exist, painter Peter Schouen took it upon himself to imagine some aspects of this almost unknown marine angelfish in the form of this wonderful painting.
The Apolemichthys guezei angelfish is part of a series of art works entitled Animalia ornata and this species is definitely a worthwhile candidate for imaginative interpretation. Schouen’s Reunion Island angelfish appears to show an adult sized and colored specimen which has developed more gold than the mostly blue medium sized specimen that was photographed alive in the wild by Hugues Vitry.
Although Reunion and nearby Mauritius are popular dive locations, the Reunion angelfish perfers deep, deep outer reefs where recreational divers rarely venture and subsequent attempts at sighting Apolemichthys guezei have all come up short. We may never see a live Reunion angelfish in our lifetime but it is cool to know that mysterious marine angelfish can be a source for wildlife artists. Peter Schouen’s original Reunion Angelfish painting can be yours for just AU$1500 which is a heck of lot less than you’d be paying for a live version of the real thing.