It’s been a while since we documented a crazy looking Bicolor Angelfish and weird Angelfish are one of our favorite marine life topics. Even if Centropyge bicolor is a very common fish, Xanthic or aberrant morphs of that particular species are very rare, especially if you consider how many are collected for the aquarium hobby and seen in the wild. With this in mind it seems more like their DNA is very stable, ghostly white specimens are more often encountered, but these are usually not stable with time while this xanthic form is usually more persistent.
This specimen of bicolor angelfish originated from the Flores sea in eastern Indonesia. As is quite often the case with this species, the fish is quite a large specimen, being three inches (almost 12 cm long) so It’s a very mature male, as Pygmy Angelfish are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, which means they are first female. Only the bigger fish make it to heaven with a Harem of female they can enjoy. This lifestyle comes at a high cost though as they have to fend off all the competition.
By looking at this specimen we can clearly see he’s been through some rough times; the first rays of its dorsal fin shows some bite marks. But the fact that most of the time, these Xanthic forms of C. bicolor are always large mature male is quite interesting and should be investigated, perhaps having some relation to sexually mature, nuptial coloration and hormones. As usual with most aberrant angelfish, it’s going for a new home in Hong-Kong but we would be very interested in discovering what it will look like in 6 months.