Introducing the Blue Phantom Angelfish

Welcome back to our blog. It's been a while, and we are happy to announce that we have added a new fish to our Poma Labs captive-bred lineup. 

At first glance, our newest captive-bred angelfish may look surprisingly similar to the Maze angelfish, and in fact, it may well be one. 

The Maze angelfish is one of the most elusive and sought after of the rare angelfish. When I was younger, this was one of the angelfish I would drool at in pictures, but would never actually see until 20 + years later.  Very few made it to the American market. Those that did, commanded premium prices.

Maze angels have been the center of a taxonomic quandary for quite some time. There are currently two recognized species, Chaetodontoplus cephalareticulatus and C. chrysocephalus. It is hard to tell where one species ends and the other begins as the color and pattern of these fish varies tremendously. Add to this, that many look surprisingly similar to the Blueline angelfish, C. septentrionalis, it is no wonder the taxonomic status remains questionable. Many Maze angels have spots and dashes that resemble Bluespotted angels, C. caeruleopunctatus, and the black wedge on the tail so often seen in Black Velvet angels, C. melanosoma. Current theories suggest they are, in fact, hybrids that resulted from mixed pairs mating in the wild. These hybrid offspring, then mating back to one of the original species or possibly mating with a third, can create boundless forms. Whatever the case may be, Maze angels offer no shortage of color and pattern for discerning collectors where no two fish are the same.

For us, Maze angels have been on our target list for years. We first raised them several years ago and are working to get another generation back in inventory.

Blueline angelfish have been a staple of ours since the beginning and we currently have our third generation spawning. We often place a pair of Blueline angels into tanks containing pairs of other angelfish in hopes of getting an accidental hybrid like our Conspic x Blueline cross. Several years ago we obtained a pair of Black Phantom angelfish and worked hard to get them healthy and conditioned. We raised this species earlier this year and started seeing some oddballs in the growout tanks. Some looked like Blueline angels and some looked like Black Phantom. Others looked a bit different. It is often difficult to tell exactly what is happening with Chaetodontoplus juveniles because so many species look so similar. It can take a year or more for the adult colors and patterns to start showing through the black and yellow juvenile colors. It soon became apparent that we had hybrids -hybrids between Blueline and Black Phantom angels. 


          Broodstock blueline angelfish, C. septentrionalis, and black phantom angelfish, undescribed species, parental species of the Blue Phantom

Both of these species occur in the same geographic region as the Maze angels and are likely candidates as input species to the Maze angel. The tricky part here is that the maze angel is a taxonomically recognized species. Since we did not breed a Maze angel to a maze angel we don't feel comfortable calling them Maze. So, meet the Blue Phantom- our newest angelfish. I think these will be stunning as adults and resemble a clean and classic Maze angel color form. These are cool fish with a neat story. We have limited stock so order yours today!


                               Juvenile Blue Phantom angelfish. When the blue lines started on the head, we knew we had something a bit different.

Suggested links to related articles:

New Hybrids of the conspicuous & Bluespotted Angelfishes

The First Ever Longfin Angelfish Also Happens to be a Conspic Hybrid

The Black Phantom Angelfish is one of the Rarest Angelfish in the Hobby

Poma Labs Breeds the Undescribed Black Phantom Angelfish