African Flameback Angelfish
African Flameback Angelfish

African Flameback Angelfish

Centropyge acanthops

African Flameback Angelfish

Centropyge acanthops is known under several different common names in English, such as African flameback angelfish, African flameback angel, African pygmy angelfish, African pygmy angel, Orangeback angelfish, African cherubfish, and Jumping bean.  

Centropyge acanthops has not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Geographical range, habitat and habits

The African flameback angelfish is found in the Western Indian Ocean, from the coast of Somalia down to East London in South Africa. You can also be encountered it around certain oceanic islands. Its range includes the waters of the Cargados Carajos Shoals (dependency of Mauritius), the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory), Kenya, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Reunion, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Yemen.

The African flameback angelfish inhabits environments with coral rubble and is found from 6 m / 20 ft down to a depth of 40 m / 130 ft. It forms groups consisting of up to about 10 individuals.

Size and appearance

The largest scientifically measured African flameback angelfish was 8.0 cm / 3.1 in.

The African flameback angelfish is a strikingly coloured fish where golden-yellow to orange shades contrast sharply against dark blue and purple. The upper sides, head, dorsal and caudal fins are golden yellow to orange, while the lower two-thirds of the body and the anal fin is dark blue and adorned with a profusion of close-set purple dots. In many specimens, a blue ring can be seen around the eye.
The African flameback angelfish (Centropyge acanthops) looks very similar to its close relative the Brazilian Flameback angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus), but the African flameback angelfish has a somewhat transparent yellow caudal fin.

African flameback angelfish care

It is not advisable to house the African flameback angelfish in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons / 115 litres. The aquarium should contain plenty of hiding spots and a lot of algae covered live rock for grazing.

The African flameback angelfish is considered reef safe with caution. It may nip at small-polyped stony corals.

The recommended water temperature for an African Flameback angelfish is 72-78º F / 22-25.5º C. The specific gravity should be in the 1.020-1.025 range and the pH-value at 8.1-8.4.

Feeding African flameback angelfish

In the wild, the African flameback angelfish feeds chiefly on algae and small invertebrates. It is important to provide it with a varied omnivore diet in the aquarium to keep it healthy. You can for instance combine fresh and dried marine algae, spirulina, angelfish preparations, high-quality flakes or pellets suitable for algaevore fish, and various types of meaty foods such as mysid shrimp and brine shrimp.

Breeding African flameback angelfish

The African flameback angelfish is an egg-scattering species. Spawning will typically take place at sunset. The male fish will trigger the female to release her eggs by carrying out biting motions on her abdomen. The eggs are promptly fertilized by the male and swept away by the current. They are buoyant and will develop while drifting around in the ocean.

Marine Angelfish Articles:

Asfur Angelfish – Pomacanthus asfur
Bicolor Angelfish – Centropyge bicolor
Blueface Angelfish – Pomacanthus xanthometopon
Cherub Angelfish – Centropyge argi
Coral Beauty – Centropyge bispinosa
Emperor Angelfish – Pomacanthus imperator
Flame Angelfish – Centropyge loricula
French Angelfish – Pomacanthus paru
Herald's Angelfish – Centropyge heraldi
Koran Angelfish – Pomacanthus semicirculatus
Lamarck's Angelfish – Genicanthus lamarack
Potter's Angelfish – Centropyge potteri
Queen Angelfish – Holacanthus ciliaris
Regal Angelfish – Pygoplites diacanthus
Rock Beauty Angelfish – Holacanthus tricolor
Rusty Angelfish – Centropyge ferrugata
Watanabe's Angelfish – Genicanthus watanabei


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