Centropyge resplendens

Common Names: Resplendent Angelfish
Resplendent Pygmy Angelfish
Family: Pomacanthidae
Category: Pomacanthidae
Distribution: Atlantic - West; Restricted solely to Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean, the only known locality for this species.
Main Ecosystem: Reef; Inhabits reef systems with considerable amounts of coral and rock debris present, where it seeks shelter from predators in the interstices between pieces of rock or coral mass. Reported to live at depths of 15 to 40 metres.
Temperament: Timid; The Resplendent Angelfish forms groups of individuals comprising one male and several females, and is documented in some sources as being a Centropyge Angel species that should, if possible, be kept in such groups in the aquarium – this requires a 200 gallon or larger aquarium if the enterprise is to be a success. Likely to be territorial with conspecifics, but places relatively low demands on space, making the keeping of a naturalistic harem a possibility in a suitably large aquarium. Likely to exhibit territorial behaviour toward other Centropyge species, and to a lesser extent, Angelfishes from other Genera. Should coexist peacefully with a range of non-Angelfish species, though some combinations are to be avoided: fishes large enough to pose a predation threat to the Resplendent Angelfish, or fishes that are likely to compete vigorously for caves and food, are likely to cause problems. Not likely to behave aggressively toward open water swimming species that do not claim a territory. Integration with other species should be conducted with care because of the above.
Diet: Herbivore; A primarily herbivorous fish, that in the wild grazes upon filamentous algae, this constituting some 70% or so of its diet. Also feeds upon small invertebrates that live in the algal filaments (and thus technically a primarily herbivorous marine Aufwuchs grazer). Algae should be present in the aquarium for the fish to graze upon, and the diet supplemented with items such as sponge based marine Angelfish foods (not as vital for this as for larger Angelfishes, but a welcome dietary supplement nonetheless), Mysis Shrimp, and if marine Amphipods are being cultured in a refugium, these are likely to be eaten too. Ultimately, variety contributes significantly to the well being of this fish. Be advised that compatibility with sessile invertebrates in a reef aquarium is likely to be highly variable: some individuals may leave corals alone, while others may choose to eat them! Therefore introduction of this fish to a reef aquarium should, as is the case with all Centropyge Angels, be considered experimental!
Care: Provide an aquarium furnished with hollow rocks, rock rubble, coral skeletons etc., that the fish can hide amongst, as this will add to its feeling of well-being. Like all Angelfishes, should be kept in an aquarium in which particular attention is paid to maintaining low nitrate levels – anything above 30 parts per million should be regarded as an impetus for immediate corrective action, as Angelfishes of all species become more than usually susceptible to disease if exposed to unduly high nitrate levels. The use of an algal bed filter or an algal refugium solves two management problems at once – lowering nitrates and providing a continuous food source. Considered as a result of maintenance knowledge gained in the past to be one of the less difficult Angelfishes, provided its needs for shelter, readily available algae and low nitrate levels are met. Single individuals may be maintained by experienced aquarists in a 40 gallon aquarium if managed intensively, but a 55 or larger should be supplied for optimum results, and for attempts at keeping a group, an aquarium of 200 gallons or larger should be chosen.
25°C - 27°C
77°F - 81°F
Specific Gravity:
1.022 - 1.025
Potential Size: Male: 7cm (2.8")
Female: 6cm (2.4")
Water Region: Middle; Spends most of its active hours close to caves and rock rubble so as to effect rapid escape from predators in the wild. In the aquarium, if these are provided, the fish will, if kept with peaceful companions, become bolder and swim more openly.
Activity: Diurnal; Principally a diurnal fish, however, mating takes place in the evening, usually around sunset.
Gender: No obvious colour or morphological differences discernible between male and female individuals. However, the species is a synchronous protogynous hermaphrodite: juveniles begin as sexually undifferentiated, and upon maturity become females first. The largest individual in a group becomes male, as will the largest female if the extant male dies or is removed.
Breeding: Captive breeding is being undertaken (see the Frank Baensch website for details of this and other Centropyge species that are subject to experimental breeding programmes). Note that the Resplendent Angelfish has proven to be capable of hybridising with Centropyge fisheri experimentally.
Variants: None known.
Comments: The Resplendent Angelfish is the ONLY Angelfish species to be placed on the IUCN Red List as 'vulnerable'. Despite being common in its native waters, its highly restricted geographical range is a contribution to this decision. Additionally, the Administrator for Ascension Island has placed a ban on the export of reef organisms (a decision that may be revised in future), and consequently, availability of this species is extremely low. Any individuals (such as those emanating from captive breeding programmes) that DO become available are astronomically expensive! Note that some sources report the Resplendent Angelfish as attaining a larger maximum SL in the aquarium than in the wild: additionally, the Burgess' Mini-Atlas quotes a larger maximum SL than some other sources (that figure is used here).

It has recently been suggested that C. resplendens and similar angels are actually all just color variations of C. acanthops. It has yet to be seen whether this will be accepted by the scientific community.
Main Colours: Blue, Yellow
Markings: Striped Horizontal
Mouth: Normal
Tail: Convex
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Submitted By: Calilasseia
Contributors: Calilasseia, sirbooks
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