Centropyge acanthops 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Pomacanthidae

Scientific Name: Centropyge acanthops (Norman, 1922)
Common Name(s):
English Flameback Angelfish, African Cherubfish, African Pygmy Angelfish, Jumping Bean, Orangeback Angelfish
French Poisson Ange à dos Flammé Africain
Centropyges acanthops (Norman, 1922)
Holacanthus acanthops Norman, 1922
Xiphipops acanthops (Norman, 1922)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-26
Assessor(s): Fricke, R.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Elfes, C., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.
The Orangeback Angelfish, Centropyge acanthops, has been assessed as Least Concern. Despite this species' popularity within the aquarium trade, it is only harvested in small areas of its range. It is likely that it is undergoing localized declines due to habitat degradation. Monitoring of the population numbers of this species is needed to ensure threats do not become more widespread and therefore result in significant population declines.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed from Oman and Somalia south to East London (South Africa), and east to Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Réunion and the Mascarene Islands (R. Fricke pers. comm. 2008). It has also been recorded from the Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago. It has been recorded from 6-70 m in depth.
Countries occurrence:
British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago); Kenya; Madagascar; Maldives; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mozambique; Oman; Réunion; Seychelles; Somalia; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal); Tanzania, United Republic of; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):70
Upper depth limit (metres):6
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common off South Africa (Lieske and Myers 1994), and is considered to be relatively common with stable populations throughout most of its range (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Animals have been recorded in areas adjacent to coral reefs, often hiding between broken coral. This species usually occurs in groups of about ten individuals. Allen et al. (1998) comments that this fish usually occurs in areas of coral and rubble with thick algae growth. It feeds on invertebrates and algae.
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is a popular marine aquarium fish. Occasionally exported from Kenya.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is unlikely that any major threat is impacting this species, however localized habitat degradation may be occurring within its range. Major coral bleaching similar to that of 1998 and a coastal population of over 20 million people are the two primary threats to East African reefs (Obura et al. 2004). The predictions for the status of East African reefs over the next eight years is poor, with a predicted coastal population of 39 million people and the probability that coral bleaching events of a similar magnitude to the 1998 event will be repeated. A population decline of 25% in association with general habitat degradation following a 1998 coral bleaching event in the Seychelles Islands was reported by Spalding and Jarvis (2002). However this species is found on damaged coral reefs so are seemingly resilient to moderate habitat degradation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place. However, the distribution of this species may fall within a number of marine protected areas. Monitoring of the population numbers of this species is needed.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.3. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.1. Outer Reef Channel
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.2. Back Slope
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.4. Lagoon
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.6. Inter-Reef Rubble Substrate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.R. 1985. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Mergus Publishers, Melle.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. and Allen, M. 1998. A guide to angelfishes and butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research.

Anderson, R.C., Randall, J.E. and Kuiter, R.H. 1998. New records of fishes from the Maldive Islands, with notes on other species. Ichthyological Bulletin 67(2): 20-36.

Carl, H. 2003. Danish fish names. Unpublished, Zoological Museum of Copenhagen.

Cornic, A. 1987. Poissons de l'Ile Maurice. Editions de l'Océan Indien. Stanley Rose Hill, Ile Maurice.

Fricke, R. 1999. Fishes of the Mascarene Islands (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodriguez): an annotated checklist, with descriptions of new species. Theses Zoology, Königstein, Germany.

Froese, R. and Pauly, D. 2006. FishBase. Available at:

Garpe, K.C. and Öhman, M.C. 2003. Coral and fish distribution patterns in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania: fish-habitat interactions. Hydrobiologia 498: 191-211.

Hardy Jr., J.D. 2003. Coral reef fish species. National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) Coral Reef Data and Information Management System. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Oceanographic Data Center.

Hureau, J.C. 1991. La base de données GICIM: Gestion informatisée des collections ichthyologiques du Muséum. In: J. Allardi and P. Keith (eds), Atlas preliminaire des poissons d'eau douce de France, pp. 225-227. Museum D'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Lieske, E. and Myers, R. 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific and Caribbean including the Red Sea. Harper Collins Publishers.

Masuda, H. and Allen, G.R. 1993. Meeresfische der Welt - Groß-Indopazifische Region. Tetra Verlag, Melle, Germany.

Michael, S.W. 2004. Angelfishes and butterflyfishes: plus ten more aquarium fish families with expert captive care advice for the marine aquarist. T.F.H. Publication, Microcosm, Neptune City, America.

Obura, D., Church, J., Daniels, C., Kalombo, H., Schleyer, M. and M. Suleiman, M. 2004. Status of coral reefs in east Africa 2004: Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. In: C. Wilkinson (ed.), Status of coral reefs of the world: 2004, pp. 171-188. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

Randall, J.E. 1995. Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Randall, J.E. 1997. Randall's tank photos. Unpublished.

Randall, J.E. 1997. Randall's underwater photos. Unpublished.

Randall, J.E. and van Egmond, J. 1994. Marine fishes from the Seychelles: 108 new records. Zoologische Verhandelingen, Leiden 297: 43-83.

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society Special Publication.

Schindler, I. and Schneidewind, F. 2004. Revision of Centropyge fisheri (Snyder, 1904) (Teleostei, Pomacanthidae). Zeitschrift für Fischkunde 7(1): 31-42.

Smith, J.L.B. 1961. The sea fishes of southern Africa. 4th ed. Central News Agency, Ltd, Johannesburg.

Spalding, M.D. and Jarvis, G. 2002. Impacts of the 1998 coral mortality on reef fish communities in the Seychelles. Marine Pollution Bulletin 44: 309-321.

Wu, H.L., Shao, K.T. and Lai, C.F. 1999. Latin-Chinese dictionary of fishes names. The Sueichan Press, Taiwan.

Citation: Fricke, R. 2010. Centropyge acanthops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155083A4694588. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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