In continuation with our previous post on Bali Aquarich’s new Euxiphipops angelfish, we’re revealing the second angelfish to hit the scene. This time its not one species, but a hybrid combination of two. This marks the eighth species of angelfish and second hybrid produced by Mr. Su and Bali Aquarich since he first started with Pomacanthus annularis.
Having succeeded with Apolemichthys trimaculatus just three months ago in April, the secrets and methodology behind Apolemichthys rearing is still fresh in their minds. The plan of breeding A. xanthopunctatus (The Goldflake Angelfish) was put forth, and Mr. Su travelled to Singapore in search of suitable broodstock. A total of three specimens were procured, and eventually a pair formed, leaving one alone and un-bonded. Coincidentally, Bali Aquarich also had a lone A. trimaculatus lying around, and the two were paired together alone in a dedicated system.
While not much was going on with the Goldflake pairs, things were starting to get frisky with the odd Goldflake-Flagfin couple and before long, spawning took place. Seeing as these were the only two angelfish in that particular system, the resulting offspring had to be hybrid origin. Eggs were collected and attempts at rearing the larvae proved successful, and juveniles were seen for the first time just two months later.
Because juveniles of both species are extremely similar, the resulting hybrids are likewise, very difficult to diagnose – especially this early on in their development. The only reason why we’re certain of their identity is because no other angelfish species aside from their inter-specific parent pairings are present in the system where eggs were collected from. As expected, the juvenile hybrids at this stage are nearly impossible to separate from A. trimaculatus.
It appears that the dorsal ocelli is slightly larger in the hybrid, but again this is very likely just an individual variation that is inconsistent across the board. Even at sizes up to 2 inches, differentiating them from regular A. xanthopunctatus are tricky. Hybrid phenotype usually starts becoming apparent only at 3 inches and above, and that’s where the subtle blend of both species can truly be appreciated. We’re not sure how these will grow up to look like, and whether or not captive breeding has any effect on their phenotypic expression. One thing’s for sure though, these hybrids are available only in very limited numbers, and we for sure can’t wait to see what Bali Aquarich churns out next.
As mentioned before, the current list of captive bred angelfish stands at 8 species, with 2 of them being hybrids. They are:
– Apolemichthys trimaculatus
– Chaetodontoplus chrysocephalus
– Chaetodontoplus duboulayi
– Holacanthus clarionensis
– Holacanthus passer
– Pomacanthus annularis
– Pomacanthus xanthometopon/navarchus (?)
– Apolemichthys trimaculatus x Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus
– Pomacanthus annularis x Pomacanthus imperator
That’s an astounding list of accomplishments, and by now Bali Aquarich’s hat has so many feathers that it’s starting to look more like a large bird. Or numerous birds. One for each angelfish. With more travelling and MACNA on the way, it won’t be a while before we’re back in Bali agin, but it’s quite safe to say that we won’t be needing an excuse to head back when the time comes!