If the tiger angelfish is the Holy Grail of marine angelfish species then we’re going to have to come up with something else to describe the new hybrid tiger angelfish. This new specimen of the tiger angelfish is only the second example to appear in the aquarium hobby, and only the third specimen known from photographs.
Up until a few years ago, the tiger angelfish was an uber rare fish in the marine aquarium hobby which very sporadically appeared in the aquarium hobby from legally dubious South African imports. But ever since RVS Fishworld partner company Blue Ocean SARL started collecting marine ornamentals in Northern Madagascar, they’ve been supplying a steady trickle of tiger angelfish to the global marine aquarium market.
Being right in the heart of known flagfin angelfish distribution, we knew it would only be a matter of time until Blue Ocean fished up a hybrid tiger angelfish alongside their ‘pureblood’ specimens. It’s taken several years but finally we have a good close up look at the first flagfin x tiger angelfish hybrid to be discovered in more than seven years.
As you’d expect this tiger x flagfin hybrid is a perfect blend of its parents, with characteristics we can fully appreciate since this individual is pretty the size at which is displays adult coloration. The fish is lighter overall with a reduced patch of tiger patterning but a broader area of yellow bordering the stripes.
The face is lighter overall with a more noticeable blueish mouth, the dorsal fin is mostly yellow while the anal fin has a hint of the black edging which gives the flagfin angelfish its namesake. With ‘regular’ tiger angelfish fetching upwards of $10,000 we can be certain that there is a minor bidding war going on for the first living tiger angelfish hybrid so it’s anyone’s guess where it’ll end up, but we’re just glad that awesome fish like this are still shocking us with their existence.