“Golden Boy” is a stunning example of an aberrant Centropyge bispinosa. This unusual color form was first reported in the mid 1980’s from Pago Pago in American Samoa by two aquarium fish collectors, John Drieberg and Brian Champ. Initially this fish was mistaken for C. aurantia (golden angel), an understandable error as this was the type location for this C. aurantia and possessed the golden color that characterized this species.
After some time the buyer reported the fish had darkened on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins to reveal a more normal C. bispinosa coloration. More recently, these unusual forms have been reported by Cairns Marine from the Coral Sea, off the eastern coast of North Queensland in Australia. Several theories have been put forward for the reason for the aberrant coloration, which interestingly are also found in Centropyge bicolor but appear as a white coloration rather than a golden or yellow form.
One suggestion for the rare color is that the onset of the breeding season results in hormonal changes and aside effect of pigmentation change. Supporting this theory is that to date all the examples found appear to be large breeding sized fish, and no juveniles or sub adults have been reported with the aberrant color. Other reasons put forward for the distinct color difference is possibly dietary changes or even terminal growth changes. One of the more unusual aspects of this aberrant colorforms are the pink lips, gill spine and sometimes even a pink ring around the eyes.
One thing is certain, that a fish like Golden Boy makes a stunning addition to any aquarium or display tank.