Centropyge bicolor

From RTAW Reefpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
See Talk:Centropyge bicolor for individual experiences with this species, Centropyge bicolor. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Bicolor Angel
Binomial Name
Centropyge bicolor
Centropyge bicolor.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Centropyge
Species: bicolor

Common Names

  • Bicolor Angel
  • Oriole Angel



One of the largest of the pygmy (Centropyge) angels. Characterised by the striking blue and yellow coloration, yellow tail and head, blue body, blue patch through eye.

Similar Species

C. joculator, juvenile Acanthurus pyroferus (Mimic Tang)

Maximum Size

15cm [1]

Associated Organisms

As with all Centropyge sp., there is a possibility of individual fish nipping at corals and clam mantles. Whilst it is hard to generalise, C. bicolor are reported to be a higher risk than other pygmy angels. Care should be taken mixing pygmy angels in the same tank.


C. bicolor is an active swimmer. Once settled in the aquarium, it is not particularly timid, and will spend much time the open, although it will constantly swim in and out of rock structure. A varied aquascape with caves, overhangs and swim-throughs is mandatory.

Captive Care

Tank Size

A 3' (120L) aquarium would be considered a minimum tank size. More important than tank size is the provision of an appropriate reef structure.

Water Flow

No specific requirements.


No specific lighting requirements. Newly introduce fish may benefit from subdued lighting for the first few days after introduced to the aquarium while they acclimatise to the new surroundings.


C. bicolor will spend much time picking at algae and benthic animals on the rock structure. Whilst it can be difficult to train onto eating prepared foods in the first instance, once established it will accept most meaty (marinara mix, mysis, brine shrimp), algae based (such as nori, spirulina flakes) or pellet foods.

Growth Rate


Once established, a robust fish with no particular susceptibility to parasites or diseases


This species is noted in North America and Europe as a beautiful fish with an extremely poor survival rate, and one best avoided. The experience in Australia seems to be somewhat different. Whilst it can be difficult to get trained onto prepared foods, once established it is known as a relatively hardy fish that can survive many years in the aquarium. This suggests that the time and distance spent in transit after collection has a significant impact on the health of collected specimens. Care should be taken to select healthy, plump fish that have the condition to be able to survive a period of fasting until they can be coaxed into eating supplementary foods.




Relatively peaceful community fish. Care should be taken in mixing with other Centropyge sp. angels. It should only be attempted in a tank with sufficiently large water volume and territorial space to diffuse any aggression.


Some risk of nipping at coral polyps. Fleshy corals (such as Scolymia, Fungiids), non-leathery soft corals (eg Xeniids), and clam mantles may be at some risk. Whilst not every individual fish will become a corals nipper, C. bicolor is said to be at the higher end of the risk spectrum than other pygmy angels.


Can be safely housed with molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.


How it reproduces, how suitable it is to breeding or captive propagation, techniques on how to etc.

Local Ecology


Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Samoan and Phoenix Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia; throughout Micronesia.[1]


Rocky reefs.

Additional Information



  1. 1.0 1.1 (http://www.fishbase.org): Froese, R., Pauly, D. Fish Base, World Wide Web electronic publication, 2008, Retrieved: 24 Jun 2009, http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5454.