Centropyge potteri

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See Talk:Centropyge potteri for individual experiences with this species, Centropyge potteri. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Potters Angel
Binomial Name
Centropyge potteri
Centropyge potteri 7 .JPG
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Centropyge
Species: potteri

Common Names

  • Potters Angel
  • Russet Angel



Orange-yellow body with thin irregular blue-gray vertical bands. Bluish black band centrally widening from front to rear. Black and blue horizontal bands on the caudal fin. Pectoral and pelvic fins usually bright yellow or orange.

If collected in a pair or as a harem the male is usually larger, have a greater percentage of bluish black colouring and brighter colouring overall.

Color morphs: blue with black vertical bars [1]

Known hybrids: C. loricula x C. potteri [2], C. fisheri x C. potteri (not confirmed)[3]

Similar Species

Maximum Size

About 10 cm [4].

Associated Organisms

No known.


A timid fish that constantly grazes on microalgae and detritus. Once established in a aquarium it is one of the more aggressive of the Centropyge members.

Rarely found far from cover in there natural environment.

Captive Care

Tank Size


Water Flow

No specific requirements.


No specific requirements.


Natural diet consists of mainly filamentous algae and detritus material [5]

In captivity they are difficult to initially get eating. Open structure rockwork will provide microalgae growth and shelter. Once eating they will accept dry, frozen and live foods, plus grazing on algae.

Growth Rate

How quickly it will grow under various conditions.


Survival during transport and acclimation is poor, often dying within 48 hrs - 10 days. Captive success maybe considered at longer then three months.

Dwarf angels are very susceptible to most common diseases.

Copper based medications should be avoided.


Provide open structure rockwork preferably combined with live coral cover.




Dwarf angels are territorial and agressive towards their own species and other Centropyge. Therefore, only one per tank should be kept. If adding more then one, select small and if known preferably female fish, introducing them at the same time.


Dwarf Angels are known coral nibblers. While nipping generally does not damage the coral tissue, it will cause the polyp to retract.


Genrally considered safe.


C. potteri is a protogynous hermaphrodites, developing female reproductive organs as a juvenile. It may then change to male, consequently being the dominant female in the harem.

No known captive breeding to date.

In it's natural environment Lobel(1978)[6] noted that C. potteri is likely to form pairs over extensive reef and rubble habitats and harems on patch reefs. The peak reproduction period for C. potteri occurs from mid-December to June[7]. Courtship begins during the twilight hours in the week preceding a full moon[6][4] . A male entices a female to mid water, approximalty 1 meter above a predominant hight point where eggs and sperm are released into the water.[6] (palegic spawning). Clicking and gruting sounds can be heard during this spawning ritual.[6]

Local Ecology


Hawaiian Islands [4] and Johnston Atoll.


Rock, coral and rubble areas below about 10 metres [4], with juveniles often seen in shallower water.

Additional Information

Named after Frederick A. Potter, the first director of the Waikiki Aquarium.



  1. (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-10/ht/index.php Tankaka H. Centropyge potteri - A Blue-black Color Morph from the Kona. Reefkeeping.com, issues 2006-10.
  2. (http://www.springerlink.com/content/fv28g467235m678l/) Pyle R.l.; Randall J.E. Environ. Biol. Fishes. Volume 41, Numbers 1-4 / November, 1994. pg 127-145.
  3. (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/3/aaeditorial)Reader mail. Reefkeeping.com, issue 2007-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 (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.
  5. (John E. Randall (2005) A review of mimicry in marine fishes. Zoological Studies 44(3): 299-328
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 (http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1431) Lobel PS. 1978. Diel, lunar, and seasonal periodicity in the reproductive behavior of the pomacanthid fish, Centropyge potteri, and some other reef fishes in Hawaii. Pac Sci 32(2): 193-207.
  7. (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15209186) Collier J.T., Kaneko T., Hirano T., Gordon Grau E., Seasonal changes in reproductive activity in the Potter's angelfish (Centropyge potteri) in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Environmental Biology of Fishes, Volume 68, Number 1, September 2003 , pp. 49-57(9)