Centropyge deborae is one of the pygmy angelfish which holds a very special place in our hearts since it was one of the first new species of angelfish that we got to write about before it was described, and thoroughly covered it when the original description was published. New species of angelfish are very few and far between, and while C. deborae may not be strikingly different in terms of color and pattern, it still takes a special kind of angelfish fan to appreciate this species.
For starters, despite the pictures we are showing you here, Centropyge deborae is a black fish in regular lighting conditions. This is precisely why the Fiji midnight blue pygmy angelfish was never recognized as being distinct from the fully black midnight angelfish, Centropyge nox. The blue midnight angelfish however, is only blue when the light reflects off of it at a particular angle and in a regular aquarium setting you’d be hard pressed to notice this fish as anything but a nox angelfish.
As with most little known species of marine life that we like to write about, we happen to be at the right place at the right time to come across an exceptional specimen of the Fiji blue midnight angelfish with the right equipment to help bring out this specie’s best face. We used an accessory diving video light with a broad soft beam to cast a bright light on this large Centropyge deborae that had been corralled next to the glass to to an extremely thorough photo shoot of our captive subject.
The results of this effort speak for themselves and it really does show the best side of the little known Fiji blue midnight angelfish but keep in mind, this is absolutely not what this fish looks like in an aquarium. Like the similarly shy golden angelfish, Centropyge aurantia, the blue midnight angel doesn’t give up its beauty easily at all – instead these secretive fishes are best enjoyed in the aquarium as occasional “sightings” of something special.