Animal Species:Pearlscale Angelfish, Centropyge vrolikii (Bleeker, 1853)
The Pearlscale Angelfish is a tropical species that is brown to grey-green anteriorly and black posteriorly. The species occurs throughout the Indo-West Pacific.
Standard Common Name
The Pearlscale Angelfish is brown to grey-green anteriorly and black posteriorly. The anal fin, caudal fin and posterior region of the dorsal fin have blue margins. The iris, pectoral fin base and opercular margin are orange.
The species grows to 12 cm in length.
The Pearlscale Angelfish resembles the juvenile Mimic Surgeonfish, Acanthurus pyroferus, but can be distinguished by the presence of a large spine on the lower preopercular margin.
It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, from Christmas Island, throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to the Marshall Islands.
In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, south to the central coast of New South Wales, and Lord Howe Island.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Pearlscale Angelfish are most common on rock or rubble bottoms of offshore reef slopes and lagoons, especially those with rich algal and sponge fauna.
It is found in depths from 1 m to 25 m.
Feeding and Diet
The species feeds on algae and sponges.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
- Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow