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    Rare Fish | The Hybrid Angel, multifasciatus x venustus

    Many hybrids lack the vibrant coloration of the separate species. They are beautiful in their own way, but from a purely aesthetic value they can pale in comparison. When Paracentropyge* multifasciatus hybrids with Paracentropyge* venustus the creation is what I consider one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. The markings are organic, but […]

    Many hybrids lack the vibrant coloration of the separate species. They are beautiful in their own way, but from a purely aesthetic value they can pale in comparison. When Paracentropyge* multifasciatus hybrids with Paracentropyge* venustus the creation is what I consider one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. The markings are organic, but completely different than the typical patterns we see on marine fish. It is mesmerizing.

    * Paracentropyge is debated to be it’s own genus, and many just consider this genus to be one with Centropyge. 

    This hybrid was first brought to most aquarists attention by Kiyoshi Endoh’s Angelfishes of the World book which shows a beautiful specimen that made it’s way to Japan 20 years ago. At this time, no one knew what the fish was and it was eventually sold at an unbelievably low price. I would not be fair to say how much, but it was indeed a very good deal!

    This past year another beautiful hybrid, pictured above, was collected and made its way to Japan again. As the Asian market had only seen one, and 20 years ago at that, many had forgotten about this fish and it was had for significantly more than the first specimen, but much less than you would expect from rare fish market pricing. Like the previous specimen this recent beauty was collected in the Phillippines.

    Besides the pricing, another attribute you would not expect on this fish is the bold behavior and personality– this little girl has some attitude! Typically both Paracentropyge multifasciatus and Paracentropyge venustus are finicky and shy fish. Once settled they can do very well in captive environments, but rarely do they eat immediately after placement let alone bully others. Here you can see her housed with an indigo dottyback holding its own during initial quarantine and observation. I am told she nearly killed other more peaceful species.

    The owner of this fish is a serious collector in Japan, with exquisite taste in marine ornamentals. Amongst his 5 aquariums, one of which is a sunning ~200g full SPS reef, he has some other unique animals such as Plectranthias pelicieri and Odontanthias fuscipinnis. As I recently discussed with a collector here in the U.S., it’s nice to see such rare fish go to those who appreciate them.

    Since quarantine, the fish has adapted extremely and has been moved to a more comfortable reef setting. We wish the owner continued luck with her and hope that a similar hybrid will pop up in the future. Maybe a similar hybrid will end up in the glassbox... I can dream, right?

    Thank you to Mr. Koji Wada, Mr. S.W., and Tetsuo Otake for allowing us to share these photographs and stories with you all.

    3 Comments

    1. November 3, 2008 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

      I hope this guy lives, multibars and venustus are notoriously poor long term survivors.

    2. Richard
      November 3, 2008 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

      this is quite an amazing fish!!! I have already a hard time finding a multifaciatus, cant imagine seeing this kind of hybrid around for sure! Beautiful!

    3. Andrew
      November 4, 2008 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

      Best looking fish EVER.

    One Trackback

    1. […] I love the “tough guy” look these fish and the Odontanthias genus have. Here is a juvenile specimen owned by Shuichisan, one of the top Japanese collectors. Not be ignored are the pair of Earlei Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus earlei ) at the far right. Shuichisan also owns the Venustus x Multifasciatus Hybrid! […]

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