Centropyge flavipectoralis, aka the yellow fin pygmy angelfish, is a little known species from the Indian Ocean. C. flavipectoralis is well documented throughout its range from the Maldives, India and Sri Lanka but more recently, some individuals have been imported from the Indian Ocean side of extreme western Indonesia, from the island of Sumatra.
The yellow fin pygmy angelfish is one of three dark colored Centropyge including C. nox, the black angelfish, and the bluefin angelfish, Centropyge multispinnis but the relationship with these two species is mostly superficial. These fish all appear mostly black under subdued lighting, but flavipectoralis is hiding lots of aesthetic potential.
Two other ‘dusky’ pygmy angelfish species include the golden angelfish, Centropyge aurantia, and Debora’s angelfish, Centropyge deborae. Like these two species, the true beauty of the yellowfin angelfish really becomes apparent under ideal lighting of appropriate lighting and spectrum.
We just had the opportunity to spend considerable time photographing this ‘rare’ Indonesian specimen of the yellowfin pygmy angelfish at Bali Aquarium. The proper lighting environment really brought out the delicate yellow fins that are the namesake of this species, as well as the rippling blue bars which adorn the flanks of this Centropyge.
The yellowfin pygmy angelfish can’t compare to the more flamboyant species of its genus, but it takes a certain kind of pygmy angelfish connoisseur to appreciate what makes Centropyge flavipinnis worthy of admiration.