RVS Fishworld Inc has collected an exquisitely colored hybrid dwarf angelfish in the Philippines. A naturally occurring cross between the Blue back angelfish, Centropyge venusta, and the Many-banded or Multibar angelfish, C.multifasciata, few hybrids surpass the beauty of either parent species but for this one, it certainly has. It isn’t the first time the two species have hybridized though as other examples can be found in literature, but they are still very few and far between and Barnett Shutman of RVS told Reef Builders they only find one every 3-4 years. Availability is also seasonal within any given year as this fish was residing in a typhoon belt, with a six-month window where weather is favorable enough to collect there.
The pictured fish was found 125’ down over a rocky rubble reef. It was then decompressed over 12 hours before being conditioned for three days at the RVS substation in Santa Ana, Cagayan, on the northern tip of the Philipines. The pictures caused a flurry of messages from suppliers and retailers keen to buy the fish but it has already been sold to Richard Wong, owner of Yat Wong in Hong Kong, an RVS customer for 38 years.
In terms of desirability, this fish has it all. A true dwarf angel which shouldn’t top four inches in length, it has the squared-off profile of multifasciata but the vertical dark bars are replaced by misbarred, attractive squiggles. The underside is bright yellow like both parent species but the other colors surpass them both with metallic green, turquoise, royal blue, purple, and orange, with that anal fin displaying a Regal angel-like pattern. Referred to by RVS as a Holy Grail it certainly is a thing of beauty and a super desirable fish for reef aquariums and rare fish collections.