‘Cocopeel’ is our personal shorthand for Cocos Island, Indian Ocean, Lemonpeel Angelfish, Centropyge flavissima. This highly unusual variant of a common aquarium fish hides an evolutionary rift from the standard-issue lemonpeel angelfish which goes back thousands of years, and its tiny, limited distribution makes the Cocopeel one of the rarest of all aquarium pygmy angelfish.
But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about our fascination, borderline infatuation with how beautiful and bright the blue eyes of the Cocopeel are. Unlike the typical lemonpeel angelfish with its blue eye ring and somewhat dark yellow to black iris, the intense blue iris of the Indian Ocean lemonpeel totally pop between the black pupil and the brilliant yellow body which is altogether a different shade than its Pacific Ocean counterpart.
We’ve written at length about the difference between the two forms of lemonpeel angelfish and even touched on some of the genetic analysis between the two fish. But this time we’ve got some excellent footage of a large adult Cocopeel which is in perfect show quality and primed to for its theatrical debut. Enjoy!