Whitetail Pygmy Angel - Centropyge flavicauda
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The Whitetail Pygmy Angel (Centropyge flavicauda) has a dark body - usually dark brown or blackish - and a translucent white tail. They stay small, even for a pygmy angel, and can be housed in tanks as small as 20 gallons. Some scientists believe that this fish may be a variant and same species as the Fisher's Pygmy Angel (C. fisheri), a Hawaiian native, though to date it is still considered a separate species by most.
The smaller angelfish and "pygmy angelfish" available in the aquarium trade include those from the genera Apolemichthys, Centropyge, Chaetodontoplus, Genicanthus, and a few others. Of these, Apolemichthys and Chaetodontoplus are generally the largest. Centropyge is the largest group and some fish have been separated into new species and genera in recent years.
Suitable tankmates for most of these angels would be community fish like tangs, clownfish, damsels, gobies, blennies, butterflies and similar fish. More shy and passive angels can be kept with smaller, more docile tankmates. Angels should not be kept with other angels in the home aquarium to avoid territorial conflicts. Occasionally, two angels may tolerate one another in a very large aquarium if they have very different coloration and appearance, but is not typical. All angels have cheekspines at the edge of their gill cover and in the dorsal fin; use caution when handling and avoid using a net that they may become stuck or tangled in.
The diet of angels generally consists of meaty foods and algae. They can be fed a variety of frozen items like formulas, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, scallops and others, as well as pellets, flakes, algae sheets and other foods. Many can be kept successfully in a reef, but use caution with any angels in a reef system, especially with polyps and SPS corals; some have been known to nip at the occasionally polyp, coral or clam mantle but not to the extent of the larger angel species.
Visit That Fish Blog for an Overview on Natural History and Care of Marine Angelfishes as well as a Species Profile on the Pygmy Angelfish and more from our marine biologists and aquatic staff.
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|Common Name||Whitetail Pygmy Angel|
|Scientific Name||Centropyge flavicauda|
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate|
|Reef Safe||Yes, with caution|
|Max Size (in inches)||2|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||20|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.020-1.024|
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