Centropyge acanthops

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Common Name
Orange Back Angel
Binomial Name
Centropyge acanthops
Centropyge acanthops 01.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Centropyge
Species: acanthops

Common Names

  • Orange Back Angel
  • African Pygmy Angel
  • African Flameback Angel



Bright orange head and back, with a dark blue body and yellow caudal fin.

Similar Species

C. fisheri (does not look similar, but has been mixed up in classification / naming), C. aurantonotus (which has a dark blue caudal fin),C. argi Orange confined to head.

Maximum Size

Approximately 7 cm.

Associated Organisms



Frequently occurs in small groups of up to about 10 individuals[1].

Captive Care

Tank Size


Water Flow

Will tolerate a variety of flow speeds


Adaptable to most lighting conditions.


Natural diet consists of mainly filamentous and micro algae, detritus material and small benthic fauna. Open structure rockwork will provide algae growth and shelter. Once eating they will accept dry, frozen and live foods. Live and frozen enriched brine shrimp are good starter foods for difficult feeders. When eating a greater variety of foods should be offered including finely chopped prawn, fish meat, oyster, spirulina, astaxanthin, quality pellet, flake and freeze dried foods. See also diy foods.

Growth Rate

How quickly it will grow under various conditions.


Susceptible to common aquarium diseases

Pygmy Angels are sensitive to copper. When using copper based medications, raise the concentration slowly over a few days and monitor the fish’s behaviour closely during the course of the treatment. Alternative treatments should be used where possible. .


Generally acclimatises well to captive conditions.




Can be aggressive towards similar species and other fish of similar size.


Generally considered safe as with other members of the Argi complex.


Generally considered safe.


Has been breed in captivity.

Local Ecology


East African coast from Somalia southward to the vicinity of East London, South Africa and at Mauritius [1].


Coral rubble at depths between 8 and 40 metres [1].

Additional Information

Some additional notes on it that don't fit in the above sections.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (Allen 1981): Allen, G.R., Butterfly and angelfishes of the world: volume 1 australia : a complete survey of the species of Australia and New Guinea, Mergus: Sydney, 1981.