The Ballina Angelfish is the Holy Grail of all marine angelfish, only known from a few locations east of Australia, usually around Ball’s Pyramid near Lord Howe Island. This region is home to not one but three illustrious angelfish being joined by the one and only Conspic angelfish, and the poorly known halfbanded swallowtail angelfish.
In this video from Dive Planit a 16 minute overview of their dive sites includes a very relaxed encounter with the Panda-colored Ballina Angelfish along with two female Genicanthus semifasciatus. This is one of the very few videos of this species in the wild, and definitely one of the most informative as to this species color and pattern in real life.
Sure you can examine pictures of this fish in books or online but it’s only when you see the ballina angelfish in motion that you can truly appreciate how bold its colors appear. There’s no question that black and white make for a fantastic contrast but it’s the little accents that make our fish-loving hear skip a beat.
Those yellow-ringed eyes, the black lips and the bright white dorsal margin all combine to make the ballina angelfish appear like it’s wearing a fancy tuxedo. Although this video might be limited to a resolution of 720p, it represents an unprecedented look at Chaetodontoplus ballina in its natural environment and we can only hope to see and learn even more about this holy grail reef fish.