Regal Angelfish

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Pygoplites diacanthus - (Boddaert, 1772)
Regal Angelfish

A prized but challenging species, Indian Ocean form. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This is a glorious fish whose hardiness is somewhat dependent on collection site. Indian Ocean and Red Sea specimens (with an orange or yellow rather than a blue “chest”) are more likely to adapt to captivity than those from the Pacific—perhaps owing to better collection and handling.

Pacific form with blue chest. Photo by Scott Michael.

Aquarists who have succeeded with this species typically have large, well-established reef aquaria with plentiful live rock and no aggressive or competitive tankmates. For experienced, successful reef aquarists only.

Family: Pomacanthidae

Other common name(s):

  • Royal Angelfish

Native range:

Habitat: Provide with plenty of good hiding places—caves and crevices in live rock.

Maximum length: 25 cm (10 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 379 L (100 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.

[edit] Feeding

In the wild, it is reported to feed on sponges and tunicates.

Individuals vary in their willingness to accept captive fare. Offer chopped fresh shrimp, squid, scallop, or marine fish flesh, as well as frozen, prepared foods for angelfishes and herbivores.

Feed at least 3 times a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Will nip at large-polyped stony corals, some soft corals (e.g., Xenia), and tridacnid clam mantles. Can usually be kept with small-polyped stony corals and more-noxious soft corals.

[edit] Special Care

Be sure it has fully acclimated before mixing with aggressive tankmates. Several weeks of quarantine and careful conditioning with live and premium foods (live or frozen Mysis shrimp, live clams or mussels in the shell) will help a new specimen get a stronger start.

Keep singly, unless in a mated pair.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Pelagic spawner with pelagic eggs and larvae. Would require a large, specialized system to be successfully propagated in captivity. This is a Holy Grail species in the eyes of marine aquaculturists.

Juvenile. Photo by Scott Michael.

[edit] Notes

Maximum reported age for a Regal Angelfish is 15 years, according to

Reference: Reef Fishes Volume 3
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Regal AngelfishRDF feed
Common name Regal Angelfish  +, and Royal Angelfish  +
Family Pomacanthidae  +
Genus Pygoplites  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 10 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 100 gal  +
Native range Indo-Pacific  +, Red Sea  +, Ryuku Islands  +, Great Barrier Reef  +, and New Caledonia  +
Reference Reef Fishes Volume 3  +
Specific name diacanthus  +
Swimming level All levels.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +