Here at the ReefBuilders rare fish department we have amassed a large collection of cool stuff that quite frankly, have been sitting around collecting dust. Stuff that are too outdated for a breakthrough post, but cool enough that we didn’t dismiss. So we’re kicking off our new rare fish throwback series with this super aberrant gold-flaked emperor angelfish.
Pomacanthus imperator is a beautiful and ubiquitous fish. You would think that a fish this common would certainly give spawn to hybrids or cool aberrants. In the wild, P. imperator has been documented to hybridize with P. semicirculatus and P. chrysurus. Hybrids are extremely rare and only a handful of specimens have been documented. Aberrations are also equally unheard of, but this gold spangled beauty is one of the more dramatic ones we’ve seen. Aberrations in fish are uncommon, but such dramatic and severe ones are really uncommon. Over the years we’ve come across a handful of interestingly marked fishes but this one from Reef-center is one of a kind. If our readers know anything about this fish, like where it came from, feel free to let us know.
As mentioned above, there are two known documented hybrids of P. imperator in the aquarium trade. The one pictured above is a well known hybrid with the Koran angelfish, (P. semicirculatus). This hybrid, while extremely rare, has been offered for sale in the Asian market a couple of times. P. imperator x P. chrysurus however, is a love child of epic proportions. To date we’ve only heard of one hybrid coming out of Africa, and this picture below has graced numerous forums, websites and social media related outlets over the years. Sometimes all we need is a moment, or a #throwback to recollect all the super cool stuff that has slipped through the cracks over the years.