The Fiji blue midnight angelfish that is only currently known from deep reef pinnacles in Fiji will soon be described as a new species, Centropyge deborae. The Fiji blue midnight angelfish was long believed to be a local variant of the midnight angelfish, Centropyge nox, but genetic analysis performed the National Taiwan University shows enough genetic difference to warrant a new species. The description of Centropyge deborae will be published ‘very soon’.
The Fiji blue nox angelfish will be named after Deborah Smith, wife of Walt Smith, the owner of the collecting stations in Fiji and Tonga. The Fiji blue midnight angelfish will have a formal common name of ‘Blue Velvet’ angelfish and although Centropyge fijiensis was considered as the new species name, when you run a collecting station responsible for the discovery of the new fish you have the option to give your wife the best anniversary present ever.
The Blue Velvet angelfish has been sporadically imported from Fiji but only certain fish fanciers like Taka Kamata who shot these pictures had interest enough to acquire this reclusive angelfish species. Centropyge deborae is as reclusive as the closely related Centropyge nox with only a blueish sheen which is much more noticeable in these photographs taken with the use of flash. Although there has been very little attention paid to the Fiji blue midnight angelfish thus far, something tells us that we’re going to see a lot more of this species following the publication of the formal description.