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    Stunning False Shepardi x Bispinosa Hybrid Angel

    One of the most exciting fish to recently come out of Cebu is the False Shepardi Angelfish. This ‘species’ is actually a cross of the Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) and the Rusty Angelfish (Centropyge ferrugata). The 50/50 mix creates a hybrid that is nearly indistinguishable from the true Separd’s angel that is found in the waters […]

    One of the most exciting fish to recently come out of Cebu is the False Shepardi Angelfish. This ‘species’ is actually a cross of the Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) and the Rusty Angelfish (Centropyge ferrugata). The 50/50 mix creates a hybrid that is nearly indistinguishable from the true Separd’s angel that is found in the waters of Guam, The Marianas and Southern Japan (h/t Copps).

    The specimen we show you here is the result of a False Shepardi Hybrid, hybridizing with a Coral Beauty (C. bispinosa)!  The orange base, fiery yellow pelvic fins, and blue trimmed dorsal are enough to give Angelfish fans some serious palpitations.

    This beautiful fish was acquired by our Japanese contributor Tetsuo Otake. With any luck this striking hybrid will undergo a light fin clipping for some DNA analysis to clarify its colorful heritage.

    centropyge shepardi hybrid

    Without DNA evidence hybrids themselves are somewhat speculative. Even more so, DNA testing is continuing to change the phylogenetic landscape as we know it. It is impossible to say what lineage this fish exactly comes from; but, given its collection in Cebu, body shape and markings we do agree with the (C. loriculus x C. ferrugata) x C. bispinosa identification.

    shepardi coral beauty hybrid

    It’s important to highlight that we have seen Coral Beauty x Shepardi Hybrids from Guam. In fact, Moyer released a paper on observations on this mixed pair back in ’81:

    Moyer, J. T. 1981. Interspecific spawning of the pygmy angelfishes Centropyge shepardi and C. bispinosus at Guam. Micronesica 17.

    A photo of this suspected hybrid can be seen in Kiyoshi Endoh’s Angelfishes of the world book (p.20) which to no surprise looks extremely similar to the fish shown here. Even so, this may be the first False Shepardi x Coral Beauty Hybrid to enter the trade.

    3 Comments

    1. Ben
      December 22, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

      Gorgeous fish, Eric. I just picked up one of the False Shepard’s about a month and a half ago, I must say she looks pretty damn similar to this specimen.

      Nice to see more of these coming out of Cebu, hopefully a few more make it around the world!

    2. Anonymous
      December 22, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

      beautiful fish!

    3. Austin
      December 28, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

      Awesome fish!

    2 Trackbacks

    1. December 22, 2010 at 8:19 AM

      […] Stunning False Shepardi x Bispinosa Hybrid Angel __________________ nikkibabee – 03:05 PM : die nikkibabee – 12:19 PM i hate when someone says "we'll see" […]

    2. […] earlier is something we find in many (but not all) specimens of this species, and there exist photographs of likely hybrids between C. bispinosa and C. shepardi that display the bluish forebody of the Coral Beauty. We find […]

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