Coral Beauty
Coral Beauty

Coral Beauty

Centropyge bispinosa

Coral Beauty

Centropyge bispinosa is known under several different names in English, such as Coral Beauty, Coral beauty angel, Coral beauty angelfish, Twospined angelfish, Two-spined angelfish, and Dusky angelfish. (Using the common name Dusky angelfish can lead to misunderstandings, because it is also attributed to the species Centropyge multispinis.)

Centropyge bispinosa has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Geographical range, habitat and habits

The Coral Beauty is found in the Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to the Tuamoto Islands. Northwards, its range proceeds up to the Izu Island. Southwards, you can find this species down to Lord Howe Island. The Coral Beauty is not present in the Red Sea or in the southern Pacific Ocean.

The Coral Beauty inhabits lagoons and seaward reef slopes with prolific coral growth. It is found from a depth of about 9 m / 30 ft to 45 m / 148 ft. It is found singly as well as in aggregations and is known to form harems consisting of 3-7 specimens. The Coral Beauty is known to be a reclusive species that hides out in crevices.

Size and appearance

The largest scientifically measured Coral Beauty was 10.0 cm / 3.9 in.

The colouration is variable, but is often dark blue on the head and fins and iridescent orange on the body with dark vertical stripes. Some specimens are light orange with barring broken into a series of spots, while others are dominantly purple. Deep-water dwellers tend to be very pale.

The name bispinosa is a reference to two stripes that adorns the body of the Coral Beauty, but it is not clear if the name-giver (Günther) named the fish after the two blue stripes that decorate the dorsal fin or after the two vertical stripes located behind the gills.

Be careful when netting this fish, because the spine over the gill cover can easily become entangled. It is safer to use a bucket or similar and refrain nets.

In the Pacific you can encounter a bright orange variant of Centropyge bispinosa that looks very similar to Centropyge aurantia.

Coral Beauty care

The Coral Beauty is a peaceful fish known to adapt well to a life in aquariums. A 40 gallon / 150 litre aquarium is sufficient if you only plan on housing your Coral Beauty with a few other creatures, but a 100 gallon / 375 litre aquarium or larger will make it much easier to keep the water quality high enough. The aquarium must contain a lot of crevices for the Coral Beauty to seek shelter in. Adding live rock is recommended, since this will promote natural algae growth. 

The recommended water temperature is 24 - 28º C / 75 - 82º F. Keep the pH-value between 8.1 and 8.4 and the water hardness at dH 8-12. The specific gravity should ideally be in the 1.022-1.024 range, but this species will normally adapt to 1.020-1.025.

Keeping more than one Coral Beauty in the aquarium can lead to violence, but keeping a group (harem) is not impossible and successful spawnings have taken place in aquaria. Keeping it with other species is however easier; you can for instance pick blennies, damsels and tangs as tank mates. Avoid large predatory fish that might eat the small Coral Beauty. If you wish to keep Coral Beauty with smaller fish, they should be added to the aquarium before the Coral Beauty.

The Coral Beauty is not really considered reef safe, because it may attack both corals and other types of invertebrates. It is especially prone to nip soft and stony corals, and can also harm feather dusters and anemones.  

Feeding Coral Beauty

The Coral Beauty feeds chiefly on algae in the wild, but it will also ingest tiny animals that live among the algae. It is therefore best to let algae and algae based foods serve as staple food for this species in the aquarium and supplement with occasional servings of meaty foods, e.g. brine shrimp and mysid shrimp. Keep the diet varied, e.g. by serving various types of fresh and dried marine algae, spirulina, angelfish preparations, and high-quality flakes or pellets suitable for algaevore fish. Feed your Coral Beauty at least three times a day; preferably even more often.  

Breeding Coral Beauty

Coral Beauties form harems consisting of 3-7 individuals. Spawning will normally take place at dusk. This is an egg scattering species with buoyant eggs and will develop while floating around in the ocean.
The Coral Beauty has been successfully bred in aquariums.  

Marine Angelfish Articles:

African Flameback Angelfish – Centropyge acanthops
Asfur Angelfish – Pomacanthus asfur
Bicolor Angelfish – Centropyge bicolor
Blueface Angelfish – Pomacanthus xanthometopon
Cherub Angelfish – Centropyge argi
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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