The fish life of Madagascar is very poorly known when it comes to the aquarium hobby. Certain illustrious species like the Madagascar flasher wrasse beckon to us from behind the third world curtain, but a new discovery in this part of the Indian Ocean could incentivize marine fish collectors to get us more Malagasy reef fish.
We received a video clip of a tiger angelfish from Golden Coast Fisheries purporting to be from the ‘Indian Ocean side’ of Madagascar. What this Apolemichthys kingi is doing far from its known range of Southern Mozambique to South Africa is anyone’s guess. We trimmed the video to highlight the exciting angelfish discovery but other parts also show gem tangs in abundance, plenty of yellow slingjaw wrasses, and what appears to be a Malagasy variant of Pseudanthias bimaculatus.
Geographically speaking, it is altogether plausible that the natural range of the tiger angelfish is much larger than anyone ever knew. Madagascar is notoriously poorly studied, especially underwater due to the lack of a comprehensive diving industry in this country.
There’s always the possibility that this tiger angelfish is a lone individual, a waif that has strayed far from home like the Nahacky angelfish that was found in Hawaii recently. But collectors in the waters of Madagascar swear that they’ve seen more tiger angelfish, and at the relatively shallow depth of just 80 feet!
If this discovery is as promising as we think, we could eventually be seeing the extremely highly sought after Apolemichthys kingi becoming more readily available. We still have a lot of questions about the new discovery, like specifically where the video was made, and how many other tiger angelfish are really to be found in the general vicinity.
Meanwhile, we’re digging deep to find out all we can about this exciting new documentation of the tiger angelfish far from its natural range.