A very curiously colored bicolor angelfish was recently revealed to have been found, a specimen with a complete lack of yellow coloration. On some reefs bicolor angelfish are so common that they may as well be part of the damselfish population, and their colors are so consistent, that is quite a pleasant surprise to see one completely missing the yellow coloration that makes it such a regal fish to begin with.
This ‘Panda’ bicolor angelfish was collected on the Northern island of Fiji, Vanua Levu, by Walt Smith Fiji and it currently resides in a tank under the care of Cameron Bee. The very unique Centropyge bicolor is being held for observation for a time since this is such a unique specimen, and there is no telling what could be the cause of its very peculiar appearance.
In the reptile hobby a lack of yellow color is called ‘axanthism’, a condition which has been line bred for to create very beautiful ‘domesticated’ colors of ball pythons. But the phenomenon is not unheard of in marine fish either, as white bar asfur angelfish and white bar maculosus have been seen in the hobby before, and in the case of the latter, the white bar maculosus angelfish was actually a strain of Pomacanthus maculosus that was available in the aquarium from captive bred fish in Taiwan.
This is one of the first documented cases of axanthism observed in the genus Centropyge and it’s curious to note that we can only account for this odd color pattern in fish species that have a blue & yellow color motif. Some color aberrations of pygmy angelfish have a tendency to wax and wane, but mostly to revert to normal in captive conditions but in the case of this very special panda biclor angelfish, we really hope that it stays this way so this cool Fijian treasure can be enjoyed by its future keeper for a long time to come.