There’s something so fascinating about seeing pictures of baby marine angelfish, regardless of how dull or bright these tiny fish are, it’s awesome to see the transformation from juvenile to adult. We’re all aware of how dramatically species within the Pomacanthus and Holacanthus can change in color and pattern from juvenile to adult, but today we’d like to bring your attention to an incredibly small juvenile conspicuous angelfish that was collected and documented way back in 2004.
The Conspicuous Angelfish has a limited natural distribution that ranges from the southern Coral Sea including the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia, to the northern Tasman Sea including Sydney, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands. This diminutive baby conspicuous angelfish was collected at Seal Rocks, about three hours north of Sydney representing the southern extreme of the species’ natural range.
The nearly all-black body with a slight white mohawk shows a close similarity to the pictures that have been shared of small specimens of the species most closely related to the conspicuous angelfish, the elusive black angelfish, Chaetodontoplus niger. At this size the nearly post-larval conspicuous angelfish looks like someone took one of those baby masked angelfish and dipped its body three quarters of the way in black ink.
There is something so incredibly “alien” about the appearance of this tiny conspic angelfish and its somber coloration hints at none of the glory and elegance that this fish will exhibit as a full grown adult. This kind of sight might be super rare now, but with Bali Aquarich is blazing a trail of captive bred angelfish that already include two members from the Chaetodontoplus genus, the maze angelfish and scribbled angelfish, we figure that it’s only a matter of time until Bali Aquarich shares some picture of tiny black conspicuous angelfish with the world. [Fishes of Australia, ATJ]