Centropyge deborae is the official name of the weird dark blue pygmy angelfish that is so far only known from one location in Fiji. As far back as June Reef Builders got word that the Blue Velvet Angelfish would be described as Centropyge deborae in honor of Walt Smith’s wife Deborah.
For a while it was believed that Centropyge deborae was merely a localized variant of the midnight angelfish, Centropyge nox, which is all black in coloration. Although morphology was used to differentiate Centropyge deborae from related species, genetic analysis was the primary tool for elevating the Blue Velvet angelfish to full species status.
Although we haven’t seen hardly any Centropyge deborae since this summer, just over the past couple of weeks have seen a couple of them pass through LiveAquaria’s Diver’s Den. The dusky blue coloration of Centropyge deborae may not appeal to the general fish or reef aquarist but angelfish enthusiasts will appreciate the subtle beauty of the blue velvet angelfish. We will definitely be on the lookout for specimens of Centropyge deborae just to see how their color shows under high quality LED lighting.