No, this is not a still photo from the BlaireWitch project. The less than perfect picture quality of this stunning fish is totally forgivable since the subject happens to be the beautiful yet elusive Maze Angelfish. While the fish may be more commercially available in the future thanks to efforts by Bali Aquarich, the adults as of now, still remain a rare and highly sought after prized angelfish of the Chaetodontoplus genus.
Genetically, the Maze Angelfish is a confusing and messy one. This “species” is highly variable and many specimens look like intermediates of the blue lined angelfish (Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis), or the blue spotted angelfish (C. caeruleopunctatus). Two terms are commonly used to describe the Maze Angelfish. Chaetodontoplus cephalareticulatus, as well as C. chrysocephalus. In general, the former resembles more toward C. septentrionalis with blue squiggles on the body, while still maintaining an orangey maze patterned face. In the latter, the body is mostly devoid of lines and adopt a more sombre blue spotted appearance. Both “species” retain the maze patterned face that gives the fish its namesake. A good summary on the Maze Angelfish can be found here.
These beautiful angelfish are not at all common in the trade, and are mostly confined to Asia. Even so, the fish seldom leaves the confines of Taiwan where it is caught and sold. Imported from Taiwan by The Fish Channel who specialises in large angelfish, the fish makes its debut in Singapore for the first time in decades. With Bali Aquarich successfully rearing this species, we’re sure that the Maze Angelfish will be making many more debuts in numerous countries world wide. This time, aquacultured.