Tag Archive | "Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)"

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

The Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei) is a super rare dwarf deep water species of pygmy angelfish that have been found from Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia to Palau in depths between 300 to 600 feet.

Abei Angelfish are believed to be much more widespread, but because of the difficulties of sampling deep reef environments, their precise distribution remains unknown.

To date, Abei Angelfish are the deepest living species of pygmy angelfish known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.   They were first sighted by a deep water submersible operating around Palau at a depth of 600 feet, and have since been photographed and collected by divers with rebreathing apparatus at depths between 300 and 450 feet.

The Abei Angelfish that were collected in Palau were found in the crevice’s and overhangs of a very steep limestone slope with accumulations of limestone reef rock rubble at a depth of 390 feet.

Centropyge abei are not common at Palau, and although only 8 solitary individuals or pairs were observed during a total of 40 dives made to those depths, it is likely that some of these sightings were of the same fish.

The silhouette of the Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei) closely resembles Centropyge colini.    They both have a small face with large forward placed eyes and a high flat dorsal fin that is substantially shorter and more arched than in most other pygmy angelfish.

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

The Abei Angelfish has a yellow body, a black head, back, and dorsal fin, with a white caudal fin.   Adults have a broad white bar just before the dorsal fin which gives them a mask like appearance.

Juveniles have a less developed white head stripe, black mask on the face, and white stripe at the base of the tail.

Although most tropical fish keeping enthusiasts consider the Abei Angelfish to be the rarest fish in the world, it is definitely one of the rarest and most elusive species of dwarf angelfish.

Centropyge abei are so rare, that only a few specimens have ever been photographed.    Until the recent Australian specimen made it’s way into Blue Harbor in Japan, the single live Abei Angelfish that has been on display for over a decade at the Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii has been the only source for images of this species.

The Abei Angelfish can assumedly be housed like other pygmy angelfish in a large reef tank setting.   Because they are a deep water species, they require dim lighting and probably a chiller system to maintain the cooler water parameters.   Since there is no likelihood of ever obtaining one of these rare fish, aquarium maintenance tends to bee a moot point.

Abei Angelfish are omnivores that evidently do well in an expertly maintained aquarium environment.

The small Blue Harbor specimen is already well acclimated to his aquarium life and eats a variety of aquarium foods with gusto including live and frozen brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, etc.

Although Centropyge abei are believed to be broadcast spawners; nothing is known about the breeding habits of this species.

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei) are not currently available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts unless you happen to be extremely wealthy and lucky.   The very few specimens ever collected mostly out of Australia, sold for astronomical, five digit sums.

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)

Abei Angelfish (Centropyge abei)








Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Aquarium Type: Deepwater Reef
Care Level: Difficult
Temperament: Unknown
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 68-69.8°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 3.6″
Color Form: Black, White, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef w/Caution
Origin: Indonesia, Palau
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Expert

Posted in Angelfish, Dwarf Angelfish, Featured Articles, Saltwater, Tropical Fish KeepingComments (1)

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