Back in April this year, we posted about a video of Chaetodontoplus ballinae swimming in the wild of Ball’s Pyramid. That video has been removed since but fear not, a brand new video with better footage of this illustrious dichromatic queen of the angelfish realm has just surfaced.
Nearly all pictures and videos of this species are taken in Ball’s Pyramid, where they occur at shallower depths than in their main range in New South Wales. Most of you may already know, the Ballina Angelfish is a completely protected species that enjoys double protection based on its range and as a species itself.
For more information on the conservational aspects of this fish, click on the link above. The closest thing you can get to a Ballina Angelfish is probably a plastic replica, or this video. Keep your eyes peeled for a few femimine wrasses that make a video cameo as well.
C. ballinae is currently the rarest and least documented of the Chaetodontoplus, perhaps maybe right up there with Chaetodontoplus niger in terms of infrequent documentations. The ballina angelfish is a deepwater species that was first made known from a trawled specimen in 1959, and then subsequently described by Gilbert Whitley. The fish is never seen by divers and photographers in all parts of its range except for one location – Ball’s Pyramid. C. ballinae occurs in shallower waters at Ball’s and can be seen while diving. The very rare Genicanthus semicinctus also shares its range here.
While they can be found as shallow as 20m in Ball’s, C. ballinae have been reported to exist at up to depths of 200m outside of this shallow water oasis. There have been plastic moulded figurines of this species that have been on sale in Japan, and these along with the video above is probably just about as much ballina angelfish you can have.
Being protected by the Australian government, don’t expect to see this fish in the trade.