The Koran angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus) may not be the prettiest Pomacanthid in the reefs, but they are by no means any less ubiquitous in the trade. This species forms many hybrids in nature with related members of its genus, but it is not everyday that we encounter aberrations. This out of this world individual from Australia is giving the real blue-faced angelfish (P. xanthometopon) a real run for its money with its electrifying cobalt mask and fins.
Koji Wada of BlueHarbor is currently on a trip to the country that is also a continent, Australia. He’s at Cairns Marine now and has hand picked this most spectacular example of a koran angelfish. We’ve seen amazing things from both Koji and Cairns before when they partnered up for the deep water coral sea project, so as expected, we’ve been treated to some rare fish candy upon Koji’s arrival.
If you’ve been following Koji’s facebook, you’d have already noticed this angel with its blue masquerade floating around the internet yesterday. With a better image uploaded today, you can see just how extensive that cobalt mask is, spreading all the way to the pectoral fins and colouring it a solid shade of amazing.
According to Koji, this isn’t the first piece of such specimens to be caught by Cairns. About three months ago another such individuals were caught, but one did not eat and eventually died. Both were large specimens, and like the wild koi coloured queen angels and Centropyge spp, we wonder if this too is a transient aberration caused by diet or nuptial coloration that may change back to normal wild type colour template in captivity. However according to Koji, this fish has been like this for three months now and is still retaining that royal blue, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it remains like this.
The fish is currently being prepared for transport back to BlueHarbor in Osaka. Knowing Koji, he’s probably going to take plenty more pictures and post updates on its condition meticulously. We’re on this angel like white on rice so keep reading for more updates. Once again, a big thanks to Koji of BlueHarbor and Cairns Marine, two industry leaders that constantly provide us with amazing fish stories, and also allowing me to share them via this online paper route.