The very special angelfish we have here is an extremely rare hybrid of koran angelfish and sixbar angelfish. This surprisingly familiar looking fish comes to us from Hao Hoi Company Limited in Hong Kong who acquired this fish from a supplier in Bali, Indonesia.
Certain angelfish hybrids are common, like half black lemonpeels, townsend angels, rusty flames, and the widespread koran angelfish seems to cavort with just about all the other species within its range. But others, especially involving any of the three species in the Euxiphipops subgenus are exceedinly rare.
What makes this angelfish so unique is that it is the first time we’ve seen a cross between one of the Euxiphipops angelfish, sixbar, blueface, majestic, and an angelfish outside this subgenus. In this case, we’re treated to a cross between the two species of large Pomacanthus angelfish which both sport a pattern of iridescent blue scales or spots.
The resulting hybrid fish is surprisingly similar to a normal koran angelfish, Pomacanthus semicirculatus, and only a few slight details tip us off to its mixed blood pedigree. Most noticeably, that single white head stripe is a glaring indicator that the sixbar angelfish was one of its parents. Other details such as the gently rounded dorsal and anal fins and lack of blue facial markings confirm this fish’s unusual origins.
As with all hybrid angelfish, the true beauty of this fish won’t be revealed until the fish matures and develops its own unique blend of its parents adult coloration. One lucky aquarist in Hong Kong paid a princely sum for the privilege of owning this super rare hybrid angelfish specimen, and we hope to learn more about this fish in the future as it settles in to aquarium life.