Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fish Geek's Pick-Of-The-Week! Flame Angel

Flame Angel by Scott Rettig

Flame Angel

Latin: Centropyge loricula
 A beautiful angelfish of bright red and orange with dark black bars or even zebra stripes, the Flame Angel is one of the more strikingly beautiful fish on the reef. Usually from 2 to 4 inches in length, the Flame is very shy, often darting into the safety of hard finger corals and hiding until the threat is gone. Hoover notes that the blue fringe is more pronounced in males, while Randall notes that the first of the 3 to 7 stripes is often a wider spot. Spawning occurs in pairs, but one male may have a harem of two females.
Scott  says, "One of my favorites to find on the reef, the Hawaiian Flame Angel has comparatively less orange than it's cousins around the world."
John P. Hoover agrees, noting "True Hawaiian Flames [have] brighter red between the bars".
"I call her 'Lips' " by Scott Rettig

When we are lucky enough to find one of these (often territorial) fishes on the reef, we quickly make the hand sign (like flicking a Bic lighter), then gently rise further away from the fish, giving it space. If we can resist the urge to rush it, or chase it into the reef, then this shy fish may just poke his nose out and allow the patient diver a nice glimpse.

Kama'aina? Not endemic. 
Size: From about 2" to about 5"
Depth:Safe hard coral areas from 30' to 100'.
White List? No. Cheaper to catch elsewhere in the Pacific.