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Species profile—Centropyge flavicauda (whitetail angelfish)


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

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Pomacanthidae (anglefishes)
Scientific name
Centropyge flavicauda Fraser-Brunner, 1933
Common name
whitetail angelfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
The whitetail angelfish is one of the smallest angelfish in Australian waters, growing to 7-8cm in length. It has a dark blue-black body and a brownish pink head. The tail is whitish in colour. The pelvic and anal fins have a light blue margin. There are blue horizontal stipes on the anal fin.
This species occurs in the tropical marine waters of the Indo-west and central Pacific. In Australia, it is found along the north-west coast of Western Australia, including the waters of Ashmore and Cartier Islands and Scott Reef. Also from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to Bass Point on the lower eastern coast of New South Wales.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
The species inhabits areas on rubble bottoms and in rich corals, near reefs and inshore waters.
The whitetail angelfish is often found in small groups and usually shares its habitat with several look-alike damsel fish species. Male angelfish defend their territory by driving away other male competitors. This is performed in order to maintain access to a mate. Like many angelfish species, the whitetail angelfish probably shelters in caves or coral crevices.
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.
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. 1304. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

Other resources

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
20 May 2024