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Species profile—Centropyge bicolor (bicolor angelfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Pomacanthidae (anglefishes) → Centropyge bicolor (bicolor angelfish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Pomacanthidae (anglefishes)
Scientific name
Centropyge bicolor (Bloch, 1787)
Common name
bicolor angelfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
Bicolor angelfish have a yellow head (extending to behind the gills) and a blue body. They have a yellow tail fin and a blue bar above the eyes. Large adults have an orange ear spot. They grow up to 16cm long.
The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the western Pacific, from Malaysia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Fiji. In Australia it inhabits the northern coastal waters from Western Australia, around the Northern Territory and Queensland to New South Wales. In Queensland, the species in found along the central eastern coast and the Great Barrier Reef.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
Their habitat is on coral reefs and inshore areas, inhabiting rubble areas in lagoons and on reef slopes. They are found in depths of 3-25m.
Bicolor angelfish are commonly seen singly, in pairs, or in small groups. Adults often appear in small groups with a large individual leading, usually moving close to the coral and stopping for short feeding sessions. Juveniles are solitary and secretive; sheltering in crevices in the reef. Male angelfish defend their territory by driving away other male competitors. This is performed in order to maintain access to a mate.
For many species of angelfish, spawning (mating) occurs at dusk. Usually a single pair, although sometimes a small group, will congregate off the ocean bottom. When a female arrives nearby, the male performs a courtship display. This involves erecting his fins and swimming rapidly back and forth. Then the male and female swim spiralling toward the surface, where they simultaneously shed eggs and sperm, before returning to the ocean bottom. The eggs are less than 1mm in diameter and hatch 15-20 hours later.
They feed on algae, small crustaceans and worms close to the bottom.
Contributors: Mellisa Mayhew 16/10/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Egerton, L. (ed.) (2005). Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, (Revised Edition). Readers Digest Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006). Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 35.2, p. 1303. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
McGrouther, M. & Parkinson, K. (2003). Find a Fish: Bicolor Angelfish, Centropyge bicolor (Bloch, 1787). Australian Museum, Sydney, accessed 16/10/2008, [].
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
8 March 2022