Unusual flame angelfish seem to get a lot of attention here on the front page of Reef Builders but considering the vast numbers of Centropyge loricula made available to aquarists every week, these unique flames are truly rare. The latest example of an aberrant flame angelfish comes to us from the “Central Pacific” via Quality Marine which displays the most fiery orange color pattern almost completely devoid of black. This kind of absence of black pigment, or near absence is appropriately referred to as hypo-melanism, or a lack of the black pigment melanin which not only looks black, but also darkens other colors.
In this noteworthy aberration the flame angelfish’s red coloration has been replaced with a fiery orange, blending into near golden yellow color in the body and the tail, while the formerly black bars are the red coloration we expect from the rest of the body. This well-finned individual Centropyge loricula is probably a male and where the usually broad blue margin has been reduced to just a little minor trim on the edge of the dorsal and anal fins.
This fiery red flame angelfish from Quality Marine is not unlike the Hyper Red flame angelfish that made its way to South Africa back in October. The only difference between the two being that the pattern of the bars is quite different, with this latest one displaying a typical barring pattern and the ZA specimen showing a weird tiger striping which could be due to a genetic abnormality. Whatever the reason, these “flaming” flame angelfish are growing in popularity and we thank Quality Marine for throwing down a very nice photo shoot with theirs for us to share.